Coffee Macarons

Sometime last week, there was this instructor meeting, and one of the instructors shared her macarons recipe.

It makes use of the Swiss meringue method, and does not require drying!

Usually after learning something new, I will try to practise again by the following week, so I can remember better hahaha.

So I decided to just make plain shells to test out the recipe and my oven, dusted some cocoa powder on it, and then filled with coffee ganache. Next time I probably will try to add in some cocoa or ground coffee in the shells, and try out some brush strokes! Hehehe...

I really like the aromatic coffee flavour from the ganache, and it's really easy to make! The bitterness of the coffee also made the macaron shells less sweet.

I would not be able to share the recipe for the shells, but would be sharing the recipe for the coffee ganache here :)

Coffee White Chocolate Ganache
(Fills about 20-28 macarons)

-  50g whipping cream
-  115g white chocolate
-  1/2 to 1 tbsp soluble instant coffee

1.   Warm up whipping cream on stove. Be careful not to let it boil.

2.   When the cream has warmed up, add in coffee and stir to dissolve it well.

3.   When the coffee has dissolved, remove from heat and add in the white chocolate.

4.   Take care to ensure the white chocolate melt properly, and there are no lumps left in the ganache.

5.   Let cool completely before filling macarons.

-  I am using Robert Timms coffee. I like this brand because of the great aroma it has. If you don't want too strong a coffee taste in the ganache, simply use 1/2 tbsp. I love coffee so I added 1 tbsp.

-  For white chocolate, try to use a good quality one. I am using Callebaut white chocolate chips.

Quick & Easy Japanese Curry Rice (ELB)

For this entire week, I had been thinking of different breakfast items for the husband.

Today I made this quick Japanese curry rice for a change hehehe... And he seemed to be quite happy with it!

I made everything from scratch in the morning, and I think it took about 40 mins. To make things faster, I made the curry using ready made curry cube, using my electric lunchbox, and prepared things for the little one at the childcare centre.

I am using Yoei 2 tiered ELB :)

Quick Japanese Curry
(Serves 1 Adult)
-  1 cube of S&B Japanese Curry paste
-  60ml water
-  1 medium sized potato, or 2 baby potatoes, diced
-  1/2 carrot, diced
-  Some frozen peas, optional
-  1 egg
-  1/2 cup rice + water
-  1/4 to 1/2 tbsp ketchup or tomato paste

1.   Place curry paste and 60ml water into inner cooking pot of electric lunchbox. Add in diced potatoes and carrot.

2.   Place rice + water on top of the cooking pot. Steam both together for about 30mins. (I added about 150ml for my ELB outer pot for steaming)

3.   At the same time, place an egg in a pot of water. The water should cover the egg. Bring the water to boil. Once boiled, off heat and let egg remain in the pot for 3-5 mins. Cool the cooked egg in a bowl of cold water to stop the cooking.

4.   About 5 mins remaining of the steaming time, place a bowl of frozen peas in the electric lunchbox (I am using 2nd tier for this).

5.   Once curry is cooked, remove cooked peas and rice. Use a spoon and gently stir the curry paste so that it dissolves well. If the curry is too thick, add in a little hot water to your preferred consistency.

6.   Add in about 1/4 to 1/2 tbsp of ketchup or tomato paste for color and taste. Stir gently to mix well.

7.   Cool curry and rice well before packing into lunchbox. Serve with the hard boiled egg and some fruits of your choice.

Easy Daily Breakfast Ideas - Chee Cheong Fun

I have been packing breakfast boxes for the husband for a while now.

While it's pretty fun putting the different food items together, I prefer to spend less time in the kitchen (and more sleeping lol) these days. So I am sharing what works for me - hopefully for you too, if you are preparing breakfasts for your husbands or children.

Potato salad (prepared the night before and chilled in fridge), sandwich and grapes.

Potato salad, sandwich, kiwi fruit, Kyoho grapes.

I would usually try to prepare the breakfasts with these elements: carbs, protein, veggie and/or fruits. Sometimes I would also pack in "treats" like potato chips or jelly cups.

1.   Carbohydrates
For the carbs portion, I usually would choose easy to prepare items like homemade or store bought bread. I also have packed items like pan fried carrot cake (carrot cake steamed the night before, and chilled well in fridge), baked prata puffs, potato salad and pancakes (ingredients measured out the night before).

2.   Sides: Proteins
The easiest protein to pack would be hard boiled eggs, scrambled eggs or sunny side up.

If you have time, you can also air fry or pan fry some pork chop or chicken to make into burgers or sandwich.

Occasionally I would also pack in baked drumlets (packaged frozen food) or baked beans for some variation.

Omelette sandwich, cucumber slices and apple "fries".

3.   Sides: Veggies or Fruits
I find veggies or fruits the easiest to pack. Most of the times, I would include in apples, oranges, berries, kiwi fruit, cherries, mango etc. It's easier to select and pack fruits in season.

For veggies, sometimes I would pack in raw cucumber slices. Other times, I might pack in cucumber & wakame salad, or some other simple salad put together.

Today, I would also be sharing a simple "recipe" for chee cheong fun breakfast box. I bought the chilled chee cheong fun from the supermarket the night before, and simply steam to reheat for about 10 mins and let cool slightly.

I have also included some grapes and lava egg for a more "balanced" meal.

Sauce for Chee Cheong Fun:
-  1 tbsp light soy sauce
-  1 tbsp dark sweet sauce
-  1/2 tbsp sesame oil

Lava Egg:
-  Place egg in a pan of water, covering the egg.
-  Bring to a boil.
-  Once water is boiled, off the heat and cover with lid for 2-3 mins.
-  Place cooked egg into a bowl of iced water before peeling.


Double Berries Bread Bun

A few months back, I bought a bread recipe book from a Japanese author. Haven't really had time to try out the recipes because there are simply too many recipes that I have KIV hahaha!

This bread dough uses frozen blueberries, dried cranberries and cream cheese. I have used frozen organic blueberries and organic dried cranberries.

I also tried making 2 versions - one being the plain one, and the other one spread with blueberry jam. If you would like to spread jam in the dough, you would need to choose one that's not too "watery".

Double Berries Bread Buns - Recipe Adapted from 荻山和也 麵包機百變魔法書

- 220g bread flour
- 30g plain flour
- 3g yeast (about 1 1/4 tsp)
- 120g to 125g chilled water
- 3g salt
- 20g sugar
- 30g cream cheese
- 50g frozen blueberries
- 50g dried cranberries

- Blueberry or cranberry jam, optional
- Egg wash
- Sliced almonds

1.  Place all ingredients into bread pan; yeast into dispenser. Select Mode 9 (I am using Panasonic SDP-104 bread machine). The bread dough will take about 1 hour to knead + primary proof.

2.  Remove dough from pan once machine beeps. Divide dough into 2 parts. Roll into balls and set aside to rest for 15 mins. Cover with cling wrap or damp cloth to prevent drying out.

3.  Roll 1 portion of the dough into a rectangle. I usually make a "+" and roll out from the centre horizontally and vertically.


4.  Spread jam (optional) onto the rectangular dough. Note not to spread too much of the jam (I did - You can just spread on the centre portion of the dough). Fold the dough up in 3 parts into a slim rectangle shape.

5.  Divide the dough into 5 parts using bench scrapper. Then make 2 slits in each of the dough to make a "Z" shape.

6.  Take the ends of the dough and twist it into a rope. Pinch and close up the 2 ends of the rope to make it into a circle. Set aside on a tray lined with baking paper.

7.  Repeat steps (3) to (6) for the other portion of the dough set aside in (2).

8.  Cover dough with cling wrap or damp cloth, and rest for 20-30 mins. You can preheat your oven to 160C.

9.  Once dough is ready, egg wash and decorate with some sliced almonds. Bake at 160C for 15-20 mins, or until the top is lightly browned. As the buns are quite "thin" and small, it is important that you do not overbake. Once top is lightly browned and bottom not wet or sticky, you can bring it out from oven.

10.  Cool completely on cooling rack before storing in air tight container.

Served as simple breakfast :)


Red Velvet Cake

I am testing out and modifying recipe again this week!

I am due to conduct a red velvet cake workshop end of this week with Butter & Bake, and I am really looking forward to it!

This red velvet cake is moist, with tender crumbs. I didn't add in food coloring because I am not really a fan of coloring, and I secretly love the dark intense maroon color of the cake layers.

Though I love creating tall cakes, this kind of 2-layered cafe style cakes also has its own charms, isn't it?

Goes quite well with my rose tea :)

Red velvet cake is essentially a light chocolate cake, with a reddish tone in the cake layers. It is also usually being prepared as a layered cake, with cream cheese frosting.

It commonly makes use of buttermilk, cocoa, baking soda and vinegar for that dark red undertone in the cake.

The tangy cream cheese frosting also brings out the entire cake flavor.

I will not be sharing the red velvet recipe here, but will share some tips on cream cheese frosting :)

1.  Whisk the Frosting
Because cream cheese can be so soft at room temperature, you can use the whisk attachment of your mixer, to whip up the butter and cream cheese for more "volume" and hold.

You can use the paddle attachment at the end to just get the air out of the frosting. This step is optional if you don't require the frosting to be ultra smooth.

Also do not over-beat the cream cheese mixture. It will make them runny if you over-beat.

2.  Stop "Running"!
If your cream cheese mixture gets too runny, put the mixing bowl into the fridge for about 10 mins. Whip it again after the 10 mins, it should stiffen. Otherwise, add in a little bit more of softened cream cheese.

Adding too much icing sugar may also introduce too much moisture in the frosting.

3.  Enhance the Taste
You can further enhance the cream cheese flavor by reducing the vanilla extract, or totally omitting it. You can also add in some lemon juice by teaspoons. Taste the frosting as you go along.

Have fun creating cakes!