20 November 2011

November 2011 POP (Pig-out Party)

It's always nice meeting up with people who share the same passion as you.
With every gathering, we meet new people and catch up with 'old' friends.
What's even better about food blogger gatherings is that there's always an abundance of food. And it's not just quantity... it's QUALITY as well!

Thanks to Bakertan for organising this session.
It was a lovely afternoon and I look forward to more get-togethers in future :)

Enough words, let's look at the food pics  :)

<click on the pics to go to the blogger's page>

passionate about baking

passionate about baking

busy gran

baking library


baking on cloud 9

tested & tasted

tested & tasted

yummy bakes

honey bee sweets

honey bee sweets

busy gran

baking library

and this was my contribution to the party...

Thanks for the awesome food and lovely company, ladies and gent :)

lovely gifts from a lovely friend

It's always a nice feeling to receive gifts.
And when it's least expected from a dear friend, it makes it even more heart-warming.

I'm sure many of you have heard of Donna Hay and seen the lovely items from her store. If you're lucky enough, you may even have had the chance to visit the store down under. For me, for now, I can only lust over the pretty things from my laptop...

Knowing how crazy passionate I am about baking, my dear friend who was back briefly from Australia, got me some goodies from Donna Hay.

When she passed me the gift, I could not believe what I saw...
It was a Donna Hay gift bag!!!  The gorgeous deep brown bag with a perfectly matched pretty blue ribbon. 

What did she get for me?
Oh, anything from Donna Hay would make me smile :)

A pair of pretty blue pot holders that double up as mittens!
How cool!

And... and... that's not all...
She got me those signature DH cupcake papers as well!!

Oh, I can't wait to use them!  So very pretty!
Yet, at the same time, I can't bear to use them, cos they are just so gorgeous.
They'll be saved for special occasions :)

Thank you so so much for these lovely thoughtful gifts, Sandra :)
And congratulations to you!!  *wink*

11 November 2011

Nutella Cupcakes

For Nutella lovers, what could be better than a Nutella cupcake?

I've bookmarked this recipe from Tartelette's beautiful blog for a while.
The enticing deep brown chocolate cake, top with an equally decadent Nutella & cream cheese frosting...
Tell me you are not seduced.

So what happened to mine?
Although they turned out looking decent, it wasn't as deep brown as Tartelette's.
And she must have used a different type of rice flour from me, for mine turned out very very crumbly. And I mean VERY VERY crumbly. (I used 100g rice flour and 100g plain flour.)

I could only blame it on the rice flour I used.
Perhaps I'll try this again with all plain flour.
Or I might just stick with my trusty cupcake recipe and experiment with adding as much Nutella as possible.

For a Nutella lover, I also felt that there wasn't enough Nutella kick in this recipe.
So I'm gonna push the limit next round and add as much Nutella as the batter can handle.

So here it is... Nutella Cupcakes recipe found on Tartelette's blog.
If any of you give this a shot and succeed, do let me know. Maybe I missed an ingredient somewhere...

Makes 12 cupcakes.

125g unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup (110gr) honey or light brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground coffee
2 tablespoons milk
1/4 cup Nutella
2 large eggs
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (100 gr) superfine sweet rice flour
1/4 cup (50 gr) millet flour
1/4 cup (50 gr) cornstarch (or use tapioca flour)
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
Use 200gr all purpose flour to replace the sweet rice and millet flours and the corn starch if desired.

Preheat the oven to 350F. Place 12 muffin liners inside a muffin pan and lightly brush with melted butter (or cooking spray).
In an electric mixer, whip the butter and honey until fluffy at medium speed, 2-3 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and add the coffee, milk and Nutella. Still on low, add the eggs, one at time and scraping the bowl after each addition. In a separate bowl, mix together the flours, cornstarch, baking soda and salt and slowly fold this in with the butter - Nutella mixture until the mixture is smooth. Divide evenly among the muffin liners and bake 20-25 minutes. Let cool completely before frosting or enjoy warm without.

08 November 2011

Mini Tomato Bacon Quiche

How many of you follow Pioneer Woman's blog?

I like her nonchalent style and her detailed step-by-step photos, which are also gorgeous to look at.

Sometimes, when I'm lazy - which is most times - I just scroll down her post, glance at the pictures and I sorta get what she's doing. I'd like to do that for my blog, but I get lazy...

Why am I talking about Pioneer Woman?
Cos I used a crust recipe found on her blog for this quiche. 

"This is my go-to recipe for a flaky, beautiful two crust pie," says Pioneer Woman. 
Sounds good doesn't it?  
YYflaky, crumbly crusts. 
So I thought I'd use this recipe together with my new set of 4" mini tart pans. 

Makes four 4" (10cm) crusts.

120g plain flour
1/3 tsp salt
50g butter, very cold
17g shortening
10ml cold water

Measure the flour and salt into your food processor.
Pulse to evenly combine the ingredients.
Add the butter and shortening and pulse till the mixture resembles bread crumbs. 
Add the cold water and pulse till the mixture comes together slightly.
Pour onto a lightly floured surface and knead a few times till a dough comes together.

If you are working in a cold kitchen (lucky you!) and the dough feels firm enough to roll, go ahead. 
Otherwise, if your kitchen is hot and humid like mine, pop the dough into the fridge for about 20 minutes or so till it firms up.

But, again, I got lazy (and hungry) and couldn't wait for more than 5 minutes, so I improvised and just pressed the dough into the tart pans.  This, I discovered, was much easier than trying to roll out the soft, floppy dough. 

Prick the dough with a fork (so they don't balloon in the oven).
Place pie weights into the pan (optional). 
Bake at 180*C for about 8-10 min, then carefully remove pie weights and bake the shells for another 5 min.  
While waiting for the shells to cool, prepare the filling.

Makes four 4" (10cm) quiches.

2 rashes bacon (or ham), chopped
8 cherry tomatoes, quartered
1/3 cup peas
some finely diced onions
60g of your favourite cheese, grated or finely diced (I used cheddar, but parmesan, swiss or even blue cheese will be fine)
some basil, sage and parsley (or any herb of your choice)

2 eggs
3/4 cup (180ml) milk
pinch of salt and pepper

Place the chopped bacon into a skillet and heat till the fat is rendered.
Add onions and cook till soft.
Add tomatoes and peas and cook till soft.
Season with herbs, salt and pepper to taste.
Spoon into quiche shells.
Sprinkle cheese on top.

In a measuring cup, stir the eggs, milk and salt/pepper to combine.
Pour into quiche shells till it reaches the brim.
Bake at 180*C for about 15 min.
Best served warm, with a side of rocket salad.

While I absolutely loved the flaky crumbly texture of the crust, I think a sturdier crust (perhaps one with egg) would have been more suitable for a quiche. However, for an egg tart or fruit tart, I think this crust recipe would have been perfect!

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