Saturday, January 26, 2013

madeira cake

madeira cake. why did i bake this cake? and what is the madeira that this cake is talking about? what?? why??? *hihihi*
well, according to the book from where i got the recipe from, this cake is traditionally served with a glass of madeira wine in the nineteenth century. so, there is nothing madeira IN the cake. it is madeira because of the accompaniment of it. am i makin' any sense? *when have i ever made any sense??* HAHA!!
why did i bake this cake? well, first off, i had lemons in the fridge and i was itching to bake something that is really easy with really basic ingredients. so, there. plus, mrG was studying for his base check and i wanted to make a little santing2 for him to eat while studying. *baiknyaaaa tetiba...*
the cake itself, once out of the oven and after having it cooled in the tin for about 10 minutes or so, has the texture and softness of a japanese cheesecake. heck, i broke the dayum loaf in half while trying ton transfer the cake onto the cutting board...but, with some magic, somehow did not show in all of my photos. ngeeeeeeee...
taste wise, sans the madeira, it's just like a softer version of a lemon pound cake. and...i missed the last step of the recipe. prior to baking the cake, i was supposed to sprinkle the top of the cake batter with 1-2 tablespoons of sugar, but i forgot. i don't know if it makes any difference...but if anyone gives this a go and do sprinkle the top with sugar, please share okay? okay!
ready for the recipe?
let's go!!
you will need:
220g (8 oz) butter, at room temperature
140g (5 oz) caster sugar, plus 1-2 tbsp for sprinkling
3 large eggs
170g (6 oz) cups self-raising flour
30g (1 oz) plain flour
finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
the how to:
1)  preheat oven to 160°C (325°F/Gas mark 3).

2)  grease a 22 x 12cm (8½ x 4½ in) loaf tin, and line the bottom with greaseproof paper.

3)  beat together the butter and sugar until pale and creamy, then beat in the eggs one at a time.

4)  sift the flour over the mixture, then fold it in.

5)  fold in the lemon zest and juice.

6)  spoon the batter into the prepared tin, smoothing the top with the back of the spoon.

7)  sprinkle the top with 1-2 tablespoons of sugar (!!!!)

8)  bake for about 55 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean

9)  leave the cake to cool in the tin for about 10 minutes before turning it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.


i like this cake because of its simplicity. the taste is just direct to the point (if you can call it that) and there's nothing complicated about it. better with a cuppa joe to go along with this cake. so...why don't you guys give it a go...and in the meantime, i'll cut myself a(nother) slice and enjoy it with my cup of kwafi.

have a wonderful weekend folks!!

recipe source:  500 cakes by susannah blake

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

banana cranberry loaf

what do you do when you have like 1kg of cranberries in the fridge, waiting...wailing...crying...begging...(okay, okay...a little too much of drama) be used? what do you do? huh? huh? huh? what? what??? (more drama???)
well, what you do is, you take 'em out of the fridge and then send them to the naughty corner  bake something!!
i made the banana cranberry loaf yesterday and by the end of the day, i was left with only 3 slices. Now, now....before you start to roll your eyes in disgust because maybe you thought i gobbled up the whole thing..think again. i did notlah! i shared. really. honestly. we had a get together with mr.G's family yesterday and i brought some. before that, mr.G came back from work and had some with tea and waaaaaaaayyyy before that, i might've had a slice or two...okay, okay...i had 2.5 slices of this. hey, you can't blame me. who can resist a loaf of anything warm and fresh out of the oven, right?

this is a pretty straightforward recipe. really easy. REALLY, REALLY easy. you know, combining the wet and the dry...bla bla bla...into the baking tin...okay, okay...maybe not that easylah. you need to chop the cranberries. aaaand also make some buttermilk first, because i don't have buttermilk all the time in the fridge. d-uh. who does? unless if you bake everyday...
so, apart from chopping the cranberries and making the buttermilk...everything else was easy. EASY. so? are you ready for the recipe? let's go!!
you will need:
75g (3 oz) unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
125g (4 oz) caster sugar
175g (6 oz) plain flour
25g (1 oz) wholewheat flour
½ tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
3 medium size bananas (2 very ripe)
50ml (2fl.oz) buttermilk
2 large eggs, beaten
75g (3 oz) chopped dried cranberries

the how to:
1)  preheat oven to 175° C (350°F/gas mark 4).

2)  grease a 450g (1lb) loaf tin and dust with flour.

3)  beat the butter and sugar till creamy.

4)  combine all the dry ingredients.

5)  in another bowl, mash the 2 ripe bananas with the buttermilk.

6)  gradually add the beaten eggs gradually to the creamed butter and sugar.

7)  in goes the mashed bananas and the dry ingredients. mix lightly until combined. do not overmix.

8)  slice the third banana and add it to the batter with the cranberries, just stir til combined

9)  pour the batter into the loaf tin and bake for about 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean

10) leave in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out and cool on a wire rack.

taste wise this banana cranberry loaf is just so-so on the sweetness level, because you get the sweetness from the ripe bananas and also from the dried cranberries. the texture is more like densed cake. and, believe you me, it tastes REALLY good with a dollop of butter on it. especially while it's still warm...or, you can even toast the slice and then butter it.

i think it's perfect for tea...or even breakfast!

well? go on...go get your cranberries out of the fridge and start!!

luck luck!!

recipe taken from '500 Breakfast & Brunch Dishes' by Carol Beckerman.

Monday, January 07, 2013

scarf cap ibu dan anak

i knitted these for a friend and her wonderful daughter. they both make the perfect mother-daughter combo. best friends, they are inseparable. so, when i got the yarn, i immediately thought of them and started on this project.

for my friend, the mom, i chose this pattern called the falling water lace by bonnie sennott. i purposely did not block the scarf because i wanted the cable-like wavy thinggie to stand out aaaand..i kind like the part when the scarf curls up and it goes all tube-like...okay, maybe that's just me...but, if my friend wants...MAYBE she can block the scarf nanti-nanti. hehehe.... :-)
as for her cute little daughter, i used one of my favorite stitches theraspberry stitch. i got the tutorial from every one's favorite online anything-and-everything guru, Encik YouTube. terima kasih cikgu!!
well, everything's wrapped and packaged nicely just waiting to go on their journey. i hope they will both enjoy the scarves...and if ada senget2 somewhere and or anywhere...please forgive me horrr....i only beginner, but i will improve.
tata readers *ada readers kewwww???*
see you guys again soon-ish! :-)
thank you bonnie sennott for the beautiful lace pattern. i had fun knitting the scarf! :-)
thank you iknitwithcatfur for the very clear tutorial on raspberry stitch!

Thursday, January 03, 2013

chocolate chip muffins

my cooker hob died on me yesterday. apo lak kono mengono cooker hob dying with this post, kan? ni apasal lak cakap nogori ni?? haha!! i need to tell you about the cooker hob because it is (somewhat) connected to this post. anyway, i was making dinner yesterday and the hob just died. the fire went out just like that. it wasn't the gas, because we just bought one tong about 2 weeks ago. was trying to tell me santing. hmmm... i think it might be telling me that:
a) i need to cook more, or
b) i need to cook less.
....i choose (b) !!! yeslah!!
okay, okay, enough rambling...i don't know what came over me today. i baked a batch of biscottis for mr.G to take to the office and then decided to bake some muffins.
i know, i's the new year (HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! not too late, right?) and i should be challenging myself to bake something different..but, i believe we should start small, you know baby steps? (entah dah berapa lama ko baby steps senah, 'baby' ko dah nak masuk darjah satu dah. baby steps kunun) hihihi...worry not. i will find the strength to challenge me. in the meantime, i bakelah anything that i like.
as you know, each year people would try to make changes...well, so far, i've made two. one being, item 'b' above, thanks to my cooker hob (hahahaha!! thank you cooker hob, i love youlah!) and the second one is, i've decided to change my baking experimenting days. i used to have experimental fridays, but now, i've decided to have it moved up to thursday. the reason is pretty simple, if i bake on thursdays at least mr.G can take the baked good to the office the next day. if i bake on a friday, then i'd be left with all these baked stuff and God knows i don't want them here because i would want to eat them rather share them. :-p
okaylah, are you guys ready for the recipe? i got this recipe from this book called the williams-sonoma baking book. i bought the book at the recent big bad wolf sale. the recipe, or rather the method itself is a no-brainer...but i had some concerns (chewah, macam serious nor problemnya) with the measurement of the ingredients. you'll see...
ready? let's go!!
you will need:
½ cup (4 oz/125g) unsalted butter, melted*
¾ cup (12 fl oz/375ml) buttermilk**
2 large eggs
1tbsp pure vanilla extract
2 cups (10 oz/315g) all-purpose flour, or plain flour
¾ cup (6 oz/185g) sugar
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
½ tsp salt
2 cups (12 oz/375g) semisweet (plain) chocolate chips***

the how to:
1)  pre-heat oven to 180°C (350°F)****

2)  grease 12 standard muffin cups with butter or butter-flavored nonstick cooking spray. (i just line my muffin tin with paper liners.)

3)  in a bowl, whisk together the melted butter, buttermilk, eggs and vanilla till smooth.

4)  in another bowl, stir together all the dry ingredients, EXCEPT for the chocolate chips.

5)  make a well in the center of the flour mixture and in goes the buttermilk mixture and beat the crap out of it until smooth and well mixed..the book says for about 1-2 minutes...(i think this applies if you are a robot) took me more than that. :-p

6)  fold in the chocolate chips until evenly distributed. do not over mix.

7)  spoon the batter into each muffin cup, filling it level with the rim. i used a 2" (5cm) ice cream scoop.

8)  bake the muffins until golden, dry and springy to the touch, for about 20-25 minutes. once done, insert a toothpick at the center of the muffin and it should come out clean.

9)  transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes.

*remember the story above about my hob dying on me? well, in order to get the melted butter that is required by the recipe, i nuked (read: microwaved) the butter for about 1 minute. voila! melted butter. :-)))

** i was going through the recipe and i had a feeling that something was wrong with the prescribed quantity of the buttermilk. i cupped (read: i poured my buttermilk in the measuring cup) and 1 cup of buttermilk is about 250ml and i did some research (okay...okay....i goggled. happy??) and it says the same thing over here. so...

***i used only 1 cup of chocolate chips...because i think it was a bit too much. and again with the quantity...ada lari sikit, throughout the recipe. what gives?? you donch believe? see here.

****i pre-heated my oven to 150°C.

according to the book, you will get 12 muffins from this recipe. i used the 2" ice cream scoop and got 21 muffins. lalalalalaaaa....

whoa...this is one heck of a looongggg entry. you guys bored yet? hehehe...okay, taste wise, to me, these muffins are delicious, very simple it's nothing complicated, you know? what i would change about them, i would reduce the amount of sugar prolly to 150g?
okaylah, better not keep you guys. because i am sure you guys are DYING to give this a go, kan? kan? kan?
luck luck...and come back soon!!
thank you for all the answers
thank you for the book image.
thank you guys for comin' over!! :-)