Some Cake Updates

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Time seems to pass so fast for me (you too?! heh)!

I have not been updating the blog because I was so busy for the past few weeks. And trying to take care of the baby, during the few times she had been unwell.

I wonder how some full time working mum bloggers do this thang! (I can't haha)

So just some pictures of the cakes I had been busy with - I really had no idea about the preparation that goes into a simple fondant cake, before I started this :p

Chocolate Cake and Oreo Malt Chocolate Cupcakes
Picture from Cherry: Sweet Memoirs

Chocolate Cake - Rich butter-based chocolate cake with dark chocolate ganache

Mocha Mousse Cake - Coffee flavored chocolate butter-based cake, frosted with mocha whipped cream, decorated with Pepero chocolate sticks, crunchy chocolate bits and strawberries.

 A sweet fondant bow cake for a 2-year-old birthday celebration! I love the over-sized bow!

And then I made a cake for my friend yesterday, for her birthday celebration! It was supposed to be a surprise, so I contacted her boyfriend, who eventually did all the work to organise a mini party for her.

I wanted to pipe on the cute minion face, however I ran out of time (the little one had fever through the weekend, till Monday). So had to make do with paper cake toppers, but I thought they looked really cute too!

Vanilla Milk Cake - Butter-based sweet vanilla cake with swiss meringue buttercream,
sandwiched with refreshing bits of lychee & strawberries. 

I was actually losing confidence over these cakes, after realising not everyone likes the taste of butter-based cakes - which I do!

Most of us grow up with bakery cakes - those dreamy, fluffy and soft chiffon cake bases. However, to do all the nice frosting, I prefer to use buttercream. And this SMBC is really silky and fluffy and sweet - great for people who has the sweet tooth for desserts (like me lol)!

So... My friend told me that she really likes the cake, together with her family members, made me regain my faith in butter based cakes!

Well, everyone has got their own preference, don't we? :)

Chocolate Ganache Macaron

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Decided to try out another macaron recipe, since I had some time yesterday :)

I think I still prefer my previous macaron recipe. It was much chewier with a better macaron taste. This macaron is slightly sweeter, I feel.

I also slightly overbaked them - this recipe firms up the macaron really well, and time taken to bake in my oven is around 15mins - recommended for beginners! Thus I had really crunchy macs lol. After sandwiching with chocolate ganache, they taste much much better! Even the hubby likes them!

Macaron - Recipe from Joey Foo, Baking's Corner

- 70g Super-Fine Ground Almond
- 80g Icing Sugar

- 60g Egg White (Around 2 whites, at room temperature)
- 80g Icing sugar

1.Sieve ground almond and icing sugar in (A) together. Set aside. *If you are not using super fine ground almonds, place the ground almond together with icing sugar in a blender and give it some blitz.

2. In another bowl, beat egg whites until foamy (like bubble bath). Sieve icing sugar, and add in 3 batches with the mixer on medium speed. When all of the icing sugar has been added, turn mixer to high speed and beat till stiff peak. (The mixture will be thick, glossy and peaks will stay straight not droopy)

3. Sieve again ground almond mixture from Step 1 (to ensure no lumps) into the egg white mixture in two batches. Fold mixture well with a rubber spatula (I fold around 50-55 counts). Add color desired. Batter is ready when you lift up the spatula, and it falls back into the bowl around 20 secs, and has this nice "V" shape from the spatula.

4. Add batter into piping bag with tip (0.5-1cm). Pipe small circles on normal baking paper. After you are done piping, take the tray and bang on your counter top 5 - 10 times, rotating on each side. Use a toothpick to poke out air bubbles.

5.  Dry macarons for around 30 mins. I did it in normal room temperature. You will be able to see that the shells turn matte, and not tacky to touch.

6.  Bake in preheated oven on the lowest rack at 140C (I used an oven thermometer, temperature is controlled between 120-130C instead) for 15-18mins. I've used top and bottom heat. To prevent browning, you can place an empty baking pan at the top rack. Feet will appear around 3-4 mins.

7.  To test if macaron shells are ready, tap lightly on the shell. It should feel firm to touch. Try to peel the macaron shell from the baking paper. If it sticks slightly, put it back into the oven for a while longer.

8.  Cool on cooling rack with baking paper. Store when the macaron shells are completely cool. Store in air tight container if you do not intend to fill immediately.

Chocolate Ganache Filling
- 200g dark chocolate (try to use a good quality one)
- 80-100g whipping cream (dairy, with minimum 35% fats)

1.  Combine the chocolate and whipping cream on double boiler on gentle heat.

2.  Leave to cool. Stir regularly till it thickens in consistency. You might want to leave the ganache overnight too.

3.  Fill ganache in piping bag. Snip off end of piping bag (not too high up) and pipe ganache on macaron shells.

4.  Store in refrigerator till serving time.

*You might also want to infuse the whipping cream with lemon zest, orange zest, earl grey tea leaves by steeping them in the whipping cream over double boiler. Strain mixture and add in chocolate. Combine well.  


Toddler Activity: DIY Alphabet Book

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Had been quite busy lately - which I don't really know if it's a good thing.

Just as I thought I am getting a hang of "being a mum", the little one has been displaying her "prelude" to the Terrible Two.

Although I would like to think that it's just a passing phase of her trying to express herself, scooping and transferring rice from 1 bowl to another everyday during dinner, is simply very challenging, especially when the hubby worked late at times.

With the hubby away means that I need to keep mess to minimal, clean up the table a bit, bath and dress her, get her ready for bed. I sort of forgot how it is to be a SAHM :p

Anyway, I set aside some time to make some free printable books for the little one!

One of my friends is a SAHM, and she is trying to introduce homeschool to her little one (same age as mine). She shared some homeschooling resources with me, which is really comprehensive!

I printed out this letter book on The Measured Mom. It's really easy. I just print out and cut the pages into 2. I don't have a printer that can print on both sides, so I used glue (stick) to stick the 2 pieces of paper together.

I printed on paper that I bought from Popular bookstore (160gsm), so it's slightly thicker. I cut the corners round before sticking the paper together.

You can fasten the book together, using stapler. Alternatively, use a sharp object (eg ice pick or screwdriver) to make 2 holes along the "spine", use a thread to tie it together.

I decided to stick on some felt to have some "sensory play" for the book :)

Give it a try!

Air Fried Lemongrass Chicken Drumlets

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Yay! We bought the air fryer yesterday, right after the little one's vaccination hehe :)

We are really happy with the machine, and I made some lemongrass drumlets for lunch earlier. The hubby and the little one likes it a lot!

Air-Fried Lemongrass Chicken Drumlets
- 6 to 8 drumlets
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1/2 tbsp water
- 5 cloves garlic
- 1 knob ginger, 2 to 3 inches
- 1 stalk lemongrass (white portion only), chopped finely
- Cornflour

1.  Wash and pat dry drumlets. Remove excess fats if necessary.

2.  Grate ginger and garlic together. Alternatively, place garlic, ginger and lemongrass into food processor to get a paste.

3.  Combine all ingredients, except cornflour, in a medium bowl. Cover drumlets with the marinate sauce. Cover and marinate for at least 30 mins.

4.  When ready to air fry, dust drumlets in cornflour. Drizzle some oil on the drumlets (about 1/2 to 1 tsp). Place into the grill pan.

5.  Preheat the air fryer at 180 deg for 3 mins. Air fry at 180 deg for 15 - 18 mins, or till golden brown and crispy. Turn the drumlets after 10 mins to ensure even bake.

6.  Serve!

**If you are serving this dish for your little one, you might want to reduce fish sauce to 1/2 tbsp, as this dish turns out super delicious for adults, but might be a little salty for younger ones :)

5 Things I Didn't Know Until I Become a Mum

Monday, 22 June 2015

Yay! The little munchkin turned 18 months earlier this month! I am looking forward to her 2nd birthday!

It's only recently that I realised, hey, there are just so many, many stuff that I wouldn't have known (maybe about myself) until I become a mum.

Her 1st birthday celebration

1.  You Need Caffeine to Get Through the Day
For me, it's almost an equation of coffee = remain sane. I hardly sleep through the night because the little one would wake several times at night for comfort latch as well as when she's hungry.

 Source: Google Images

I cannot remember when was the last time I had a full 8 hours sleep. And while I don't sleep through the night, most of the times, I go to bed around 11pm and had to wake around 6am. So, you figure out why I can be angsty at times. Oppps, hahaha.

2.  You Don't Mind Wiping Mucus and Having Phlegm on Your Hair and Shoulders
Well, this is true.. Maybe add poop on your hands too, lol.

The little one recently recovered from a common flu, and had a really terrible cough. She had those really huge and thick plop of phlegm, which made her wake in her sleep and cry. I would often try to let her cough out, by carrying her slightly higher on my shoulders and pat her back gently in an upwards motion. It's pretty effective, though I get some of the yucky stuff on my hair and t-shirt.

Comparing a sick child, feeling discomfort, that's when you know you really don't mind these yucky stuff on you.

3.  You Can Cook!
I can cook prior to having my child, but just simple dishes, following recipes. Now, I just go by estimation for dishes and soup, and my proudest dish is the sesame oil chicken, which I just modify and anyhow add the seasoning lol.

Hubby loves that!

4. You Can Be Strong, Yet Weak at the Same Time
Motherhood means I go through several emotions all at one time.

How, I really don't know. I am still wondering if I am having hormones all haywire, since my pregnancy days lol. Or perhaps it's the lack of sleep.

 "Mama, yogurt is yummy, but I also enjoy throwing it down on the floor." LOL.

I can find myself happy this moment, then totally lashed out at the hubby just because there are dirty dishes placed in the sink (I try to place the plates and bowls on the counter). Or I can be taking care of my sick little one while I am sick myself, and then cry together with her.

5.  God's Love is THIS Big
While I knew God's love is really deep and wide, I can relate to it better now that I am a parent myself (which really leaves me with a big WOW).

I don't know how or why, but love just flows out so naturally each time I look at my child. And then I knew, God would love us even more! And for that, I am really so thankful for His love, for I am just but a normal human being, prone to errors and sins.

How about yours? What have you discovered while becoming a parent? :)

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