Little Monkey German Cookies




There were many items that I had KIV on my to-bake list, like forever! These German cookies were one of those hahaha.

I have tried out German cookies many years back, but I prefer something crunchier and sweeter, so I didn't manage to make anymore.

Now I like that these cookies are soft and easy to eat. I originally wanted to make for my toddlers, but I forgot that these cookies are rather soft and "fragile" - the toddler actually enjoyed smashing them in her hands and then stuffing them in her mouth lol!

The original recipe is from Wan Wan Tea, and she makes a lot of really cute cookies and bakes!








Little Monkey German Cookies - Recipe adapted from Wan Wan Tea
(Makes about 20 pcs)
Ingredients:
-  60g butter, softened
-  20g icing sugar
-  75g potato starch
-  40g cake or plain flour
-  1/2 tsp milk powder
-  1 tsp cocoa powder

-  50g dark chocolate
-  1 tsp water






Method:
1.   Place the softened butter in a large bowl. Add in icing sugar, whisk until it becomes pale and fluffy.


2.   Sift in potato starch, flour and milk powder. Mix well using whisk or spatula.


3.   Remove 40g of dough and set aside.


4.   Add in cocoa powder into remaining dough and mix well. Remove 2 tsp of cocoa dough for drawing details later. You can place the 2 tsp of dough in a bowl and then cover with cling wrap.


5.   You can chill the white and cocoa dough for about 20-30 mins in the fridge.


6.   Melt the chocolate using bain marie or in the microwave. Add in the 2 tsp of reserved cocoa dough from (4). Mix well. Add in some water slowly to mix into a paste. You might not use the entire 1 tsp of water. Set aside when it's done.


7.   Remove dough from fridge for shaping. You will need to shape: (a) head - roll 1 tsp of cocoa dough into ball shape + small pc of white dough in flattened oval shape (b) hands - roll smaller pc of dough into longish shape (c) ears - slightly smaller pc of round dough than for the hands.


8.   Place the dough for hands on lined baking tray. Attach the white dough onto front part of the head as face. Place the head on top of hands on the baking tray. Add on the ears by the side of the monkey's head.


9.   Do the above step for all of the dough.


10.  For drawing on the facial details, place the chocolate paste into piping bag and pipe out details on the face.


11.  Bake in preheated oven 120C for about 25-30 mins.


12.  Cool completely before storing in air tight container.




Black Sesame Madeleines




I was quite tired out over the weekends, so I was thinking of making something easy for breakfast this morning.

I looked through my recipe books, and decided on this batch of black sesame madeleines.

Madeleines are considered as French cookies, which taste like small sponge cakes. They usually take on this shell-like shapes, with a distinct hump on the back.

There are also several ways of preparing madeleines. It can be made using the ribbon method, creaming method, or simple mixing method.





I like this recipe because it's just mixing all ingredients together, chill in fridge overnight, and then bake. It's quite hassle free for an easy breakfast, though I am quite sure that not a lot of us eat madeleines for breakfast haha!

The texture of the madeleines is also very good, given that it's so easy to make! I chilled my batter for about 7 hours, and the baked texture turns out soft and fluffy (please don't overbake). I love the special black sesame scent as well!

I find it slightly sweet for my taste, as with most French pastries, which would go really well with tea or black coffee. Perhaps I would try to reduce a little sugar the next time I make this :)




Black Sesame Madeleines - Recipe from 一口吃甜點:卡爾西一個人的廚藝訓練班
(Makes 15 regular madeleines or 50 mini madeleines)
Ingredients:
-  85g butter, diced
-  2 eggs
-  75g sugar
-  10g honey
-  Pinch of salt
-  75g cake or plain flour
-  20g unsweetened black sesame powder
-  1 tsp baking powder


The little one cannot wait to try these! LOL!



Method:
1.   Melt butter over bain marie or in the microwave. Set aside to cool.


2.   Place eggs, sugar, honey and salt into a large bowl. Gently break up the eggs and mix the ingredients well.


3.   Sift in flour, black sesame powder and baking powder into (2). Mix till there are no traces of flour.


4.   Add in cooled melted butter and combine well.


5.   Cover the bowl with cling wrap and place it into the fridge to chill for 12-24 hours, for the batter to "relax". This will help the hump to develop during baking later.


6.   Preheat oven to 200C. Brush on some butter or oil on your mold, and dust the mold with some flour. Shake off excess flour. Fill the batter into piping bag, snip off an opening. Fill the mold with the batter, around 3/4 or nearly full.





7.   Bake in preheated oven at 200C for 8 mins (4 min for mini madeleines), then turn down the temperature to 180C, and bake for 3-4 mins (2 min for mini madeleines). The madeleines are baked when skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.


8.   Let madeleines cool slightly in pan, before removing onto cooling rack. Cool completely before storing in air-tight container.





Note:
-  I've used demerara raw sugar for these madeleines.

-  The longer you chill the batter, the softer the madeleines will be. For this bake, I chilled in the fridge for about 7 hours.

-  If you have only 1 madeleine pan, let it cool completely before brushing butter/oil + flour it for new batch of madeleines.

-  For easy removal of baked madeleines from the pan, you can use a bamboo stick or skewer to poke into the centre to help remove.

Totoro Macarons with Raspberry Mascarpone Filling



Had an order for my neighbour's 1 year old daughter's birthday celebration! She requested for Totoro cupcakes and rainbow cookies, and I was quite happy to start on this last order before my EDD :)








Inspired by the Totoro toppers, I had wanted to make some macarons for her, as I thought I would have time. However, I didn't realise that I would take double the usual time I used to take to make the cookies and fondant toppers! So I only manage to make the macarons later in the day.






I had wanted to use charcoal powder to color the macaron shells grey. However, I added in too much charcoal powder (who would think 2g is a lot lol), and the batter turned out BLACK!

I didn't think it would look nice, but thankfully I made some plain batter too. So I just piped them out as usual, and then just drew on the details with edible food coloring.

Oh ya, I need to practice macarons regularly. I wonder if I was tired from mixing the 2 batters separately, that I undermixed the white one lol..


 





The filling is made using jam and mascarpone, and it's really quite refreshing! It's not very sweet, and tastes somewhat like yogurt. What's better is that I don't need to use the mixer for this. Just whisk it by hand!

Sorry I won't be able to share the macaron shell recipe here, but would be sharing the filling recipe.


Raspberry Pomegranate Mascarpone Filling
(Fills 10 mini macarons)
Ingredients:
-  30g mascarpone cheese
-  3 to 3.5 tbsp raspberry pomegranate jam


Method:
1.   Place mascarpone cheese into medium sized bowl. Add in jam.


2.   Whisk the mixture till it comes together.


3.   Chill in the fridge for about 5 mins. Whisk it again to firm it up.


4.   Spoon it into piping bag and pipe onto macaron shells!






For macaron shells:
-  Pipe out circles as usual on baking paper.
-  Using piping tip #5, pipe out ears on top of circles.
-  Draw on details using edible food pen, or using a brush + black food gel.



Note:
-  I am using St Dalfour's jam. I quite like it because it's not too sweet, and with not much additives. You can also use other flavored jams. Try to choose jams that are slightly sourish and not too sweet.

-  I added 3 tbsp of jam. If it's a little too bland for you, you can add 0.5 tbsp more. However, remember that the macaron shells would be sweet!

Blueberry Yogurt Muffins



These days I realise that I don't really have the "energy" to stay in the kitchen to prepare for dinner and breakfast, as I am going into my 3rd trimester soon.

Sometimes I do wonder if that's because of the lack-of exercise lol.

So anyway, I feel really thankful for quick recipes like muffins or yogurt loaf cakes - you just mix dry and wet ingredients together and bake! No need for mixer!






A few weeks back, I bought this recipe book from Popular, because I really like the visuals lol! Finally remembered this book (oops, too many books), and tried out this blueberry yogurt muffins.

As it's written in Chinese, I thought 原味优格 is also referring to unsweetened yogurt. After the muffins went into the oven for baking, I realised it might be just plain (sweetened) yogurt. What has my pregnancy brain done to me hahaha!

And indeed, as I tried the muffins this morning, it's not sweet - but really good for my LO, and for me coz I really don't want to get gestational diabetes haha!

I also find that the texture for this muffin seems a little denser than the passion fruit muffins I'd made some time ago. Might be due to the yogurt in it?  However, I'd still consider it a light breakfast!









Blueberry Yogurt Muffins - Recipe from 一口吃甜點:卡爾西一個人的廚藝訓練班
(Makes 6 Muffins)
Ingredients:
- 130g plain flour
- 50g sugar
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1 egg
- 130g plain yogurt
- 40g oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 130g blueberries
- Diced almonds, for sprinkling




Method:
1.   Add the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt) into a big bowl. Mix well with a spatula.


2.   In another bowl, add the egg, yogurt, oil and vanilla. Whisk to combine well.


3.   Make a well in the bowl of dry ingredients. Add in the combined wet ingredients. Mix with a spatula. Ensure that you don't overmix - just mix till there are no traces of white flour.


4.   Add about 2/3 of the blueberries into the batter. Mix using the spatula, in about 4 or 5 strokes.


5.   Spoon the batter into lined muffin tray or cupcake liners. Add reserved 1/3 of the blueberries onto the surface of the batter, then sprinkled with the diced almond.


6.   Bake in preheated oven 200C, for about 15-20 mins. The surface should be lightly browned, with a skewer inserted comes out clean


7.   Cool completely before storing in air-tight container, or serve slightly warm.







Note:
-  The wet ingredients should be measured out and let stand in room temperature for about 15 mins.

The Manhattan FISH MARKET's All-New Breakfast Items!



It has been a while since I've went for a food tasting event!

Sometimes I find it difficult to say yes to food tasting events or blogger events, because there had been times when the little one fell sick, and I had to take care of her during such event dates.

So I was really happy to receive this invite to The Manhattan FISH MARKET's all-new weekend breakfast menu tasting. It was on a weekend so I could lug along the hubby and the toddler together! Yay!

What's more, The Manhattan FISH MARKET is one of our favourite family-friendly place to dine in!


Just this month, June 2016, The Manhattan FISH MARKET launches their all-new weekend breakfast items. I know you must be thinking what's new right!

You'd be happy to know that The Manhattan FISH MARKET offers a wholesome variety of hearty and delectable breakfast items, at pocket-friendly prices! The menu also features items that are good for 1-pax, 2-pax sharing and/or group sharing. It's also worth mentioning that the portion for sharing items is not petite sized!





We were happy to be greeted by their chirpy staff at Century Square on a Saturday morning as we dropped by for the tasting. The little one was even happier to be given a balloon!

Once seated, we were handed the menu and given some introduction on their breakfast items. They also have this coloring + origami sheet for the little one! It was quite a relief, as it takes her focus off from running in the restaurant lol!



Oh yes, it's also time for a hair-cut! The husband and I cannot come to an agreement about cutting her hair lol.
He wanted her to grow longer, while I really wanted to just trim her hair neater.


It was also a nice touch that the table set-up is very cheery, complete with a sky blue table runner and gerbera flower. Imagine breakfast set-up on a weekend like this:


Nice! :)


No hassle to set up table for breakfast at home! And it's really an instant mood uplift seeing this (well, for me! Hehe).


Happy to get kids cutlery in her favourite pink!
Even happier to be holding on to the balloon through the meal lol..


Just a note that, as mentioned above, the menu features quite a good selection for breakfast (for single and sharing), other than the items reviewed below.



Beverages:
To complete your weekend breakfast, The Manhattan FISH MARKET offers various beverage options that complement their breakfast dishes. You'd be happy to find freshly squeezed orange juice here (great for tots)!


Freshly squeezed orange juice (S$3.90)


We also took 2 of their soda, which I sort of regretted. I should have tried their cappuccino (S$3.90)!! Lol.


Cala-Cala (Refreshing calmansi soda)

Brooklyn Sunset (A lovely mango strawberry soda which ladies will enjoy)


And now, for the mains.

For 1-Pax:
Salmon 'n' Mushroom Sandwich (S$8.95)



This smoked salmon sandwich is great for ladies, or if you prefer a lighter and healthier bite for breakfast. The sandwich features slices of smoked salmon, served with nice, garlicky sauteed mushrooms in between oregano buns. On the side, you would find a poached egg in a slightly crunchy tortilla bowl.

I actually prefer the taste of the poached egg here, compared to the one in eggs benedict sharing platter below.





Nutella & Banana French Toast (S$4.95)




In the press release, I saw that this item being categorized under kids' favourite - but well, the husband and I enjoyed this sweet treat as well!

This french toast is not overly, cloyingly sweet; yet with subtle great combination of Nutella + Banana. You will find your teeth sinking into delightfully soft toast with nice banana-y taste, complete with light chocolate drizzle sauce!

I find it great for sharing as well, probably after the savoury main items. Its pocket-friendly price is good as well!



For 2-Pax or Group Sharing:
Eggs Benedict Sharing Platter (S$17.95)



For great flavours, you can choose this platter for sharing! Sometimes these days I like slightly heavier flavours for breakfast, and this platter is perfect for that!

It features poached eggs atop cheese slice and crispy turkey bacon, crispy hash brown bites (my favourite!!), cheesy snail sausage and fluffy pancakes.

I really have to say that the hash brown is my favourite! It doesn't leave an oily aftertaste, and remained crispy on the plate. The poached egg also goes well with the flavours of the bacon and cheese. It's not heavily sauced, however I find it slightly dry with the buns.

Oh yes, I also appreciate their maple syrup - it certainly tastes like the real deal, and not like some artificial heavily-flavoured syrup.



The Manhattan FISH MARKET is now offering the breakfast items every weekend as well as on public holidays, from 8am to 12pm, at selected outlets:

-  Causeway Point #02-34/K1
-  Century Square #01-31
-  Bishan Junction 8 #01-22/30
-  Northpoint #02-06/07
-  Jurong Point #01-32



Many thanks to Kherray & Hsu Lin from Ninemer Public Relations P L and the hospitable staff from The Manhattan Fish Market's Century Square outlet for this tasting!