Thursday, October 18, 2007

Missing Missy

In loving memory; dear Missy,
Do rest in peace,

That's the last word,
Which each of us uttered,
On the noon of October 18th,
The family greatly misses you,

Reminiscing the fond memories,
That you've given to us,
Treasuring the losses,
We do love everything about you,
You've been here since we're walking toddlers,
Watching us grow,
You are more than just a pooch,
More than a buddy to jog with,
More than a guard woman,
More than one who obeys orders,
More than one who shares our love,
More than what we need in a pooch,
You are simply one of us,
One strong family we are.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Exclusively Made For The One In UK

Once, they were all young, innocent and naughty or shall I add in - horny, schoolchildren. The one who invented the new child's play from the very widely-played Mahjong game. Little did we know that the rectangular erasers which had colored country's flag printed on its surface can do so much; from entertaining to earning some side income of a ringgit a week. We do not really gamble though. It was played for the sake of filling breaks and having a good time with the creative minds. Those were the good old days.

Sugarpastes; roses which had yet to blossom.

Remembering those faces which resembles enthusiast and happy elf? That's the faces that one will catch to see once those dainty clean erasers were poured out from that good old plastic bag. Ahh, speaking of entertainment and enlightenment.

The left wing sugarpastes.

Until now, the inventor was no where to be found. It's more like a collaborated team who had invented this game, which I appreciated a lot more. An effort of a team cant beat an effort of an individual. I don't quite remember how it was played, but then, I love them more then the actual Mahjongs do. One simple
reason; I know nothing about those Jongs.

The right wing sugarpastes.

Thinking and looking aback, the girls were great. Starting of with thirteen of them, as years goes, many of them are now in somewhere far, studying abroad. Esther, Joling and now, Yvonne. Yvonne, who's now currently burning the midnight oil, having a good cup of latte' while flipping the law book is in UK. That's real far. And we hope that she'll be doing great there. She will. Definitely will be. ;)

The star-shaped sugarpastes, which reminds us of Vincent's song 'Starry starry night' and the phrase, 'Reach for the stars'.

As for our favorite bluryone Yvonne, we; inclusive of Molly got her batches of cupcakes before her headings to the new surroundings in UK. Before anything was done, the idea for her cupcakes were brainstormed and drafted. The ideas consists of having the sugarpaste as its topping. Hence, we made and molded the sugarpaste before the day of her gathering. We came up with brilliant but complicated designs. The sugarpaste of white rose buds were made. It's more clean cut and less messy. Then, the other design for the related batches of cupcakes does also includes the very well-known phrase; "Reach For The Stars" whereby stars and the wings were molded. Molding the wings were tough, as there's two parts; the left and the right wings. They differs though.

For the first cupcake, we topped the vanilla cupcakes with pure vanilla buttercream. The buttercream swirl stayed put till the last bite. Creamy and not as tough as we have expected. By then, we topped it with a star-shaped yellow sugarpaste and a pair of white wings.

The outcome of the entire cupcake were as cute as Whisky's butt. It was real cute and looks fragile. The tryouts left for us were staying where it was, because it was way too cute to be eaten. Hence, we've been taking many shots of this pretty little cupcake in many different angles.

We really can't resist snapping these C-grade babies. From sideways to front view. We wouldn't get as bored as that. It was fun though.

At one point, it reminds me of Frank Sinatra's song; Fly Me To The Moon. Flap those wings, baby.

They even looked good though pairing up with toilet rolls. Kill us.

These babies were designed with the theme reach for the stars. As Yvonne's going to further her studies in UK, it's obvious that the cupcakes were speaking for the both of us; congratulating her for being able to strive for what she had wanted for.

It was then arranged accordingly in a box. Normally, the box itself can carry 16 of those mini cupcakes. With the additional long-stretched wings, the numbers had reduced from 16 to 9. We've always been asking for opinion once the decors were nicely done. It seems lacking of something. Seems to be.

The kids preferred the cupcakes to be sprinkled with colorful sprinkles. Honestly speaking, these icing balls tasted not as good as we've thought. It was crunchy and we felt like munching on cracked egg shells. Oh boy.

If you ask us, we still prefer the one with no colorful sprinkles. With sprinkles, it looks more like, we don't know. Anyway, it still looked good and looked edible from the shot above. We were satisfied with the final product though we do not fancy the colorful sprinkles.

On christening these babies, we were out of great ideas. We'll go with Starry Starry Night Vanilla Cupcakes then. ;)

Starry, starry night. Paint your palette blue and grey, look out on a summer's day, With eyes that know the darkness in my soul. Shadows on the hills, sketch the trees and the daffodils, catch the breeze and the winter chills,
in colors on the snowy linen land. =}

The other cupcake gift to be was a box of moist chocolate cupcakes with chocolate buttercream. The Chocolate And White Roses Cupcakes.

It was topped off with 3 roses rather than one as it looks better with 3 on it. The moist chocolate cake were best served cold and days later. We realized that most moist chocolate cakes taste better in that conditions. Hence, the chocolate cake were planned to make a day ahead before the vanilla cupcakes were made.

The cupcakes were delivered and presented to Yvonne on the her gathering itself. Hoping that she'll be in her best day everyday. Best regards woman! We know that you'll fit in there, perfectly. Hugs and kisses. ;)

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Blueberry Buzz

We had a joyous blueberry moment last week. From buns to cupcakes, we've been experimenting blueberries and its preserves. We do prefer the preserves over the jam itself. First, we had the milk bun, or shall we say, Blueberry Milk Buns.

While awaiting for the bread dough's proofing time, the fillings were made. The fillings consists mainly of butter and milk powder, which smelt more like a vanilla pod rather than an infant's puke. (*Snorts*)

The fillings were used and divided accordingly. After wrapping up the filling with appropriate size of bread dough, it was then placed carefully onto a large baking tray for proofing once more.

Our favorite baking procedures of all then occurs, which is after the bread doughs have doubled in size; piping poolicious filling on the surface of the buns. We enjoy and love looking at the swirls. See, some poos are cute too. ;)

Next, the sweet and addictive blueberry jam on its top. It was piped out for the piping bag too. Lucky us for investing on stacks of disposable piping bag. And the last thing to do was popping them to the preheated oven.

Once baked and cooled on a wire rack, one can chow down these C-grade babies. The best part out of this bun was probably its milk based fillings, and oh boy, not the blueberry jams. The bread dough was pretty badly kneaded. And that is maybe why the bread had gone as hard as an artificial bone in days later. Well, no wastage. Let's play fetch and catch with the other poochies.

Some of the buns were sent to our loved ones. As for this month, we're working on fluffier buns. More experiments to come.

After the buns, dozens of vanilla cupcakes were baked. We ran out of ideas - in terms of the cupcakes flavors and toppings. Since we're in the heat of chowing carbs accompanied by blueberries, we bet that some blueberry jam slabbed on the top of the cupcakes will do just enough. Presenting the Blueberry And Chocolate Marshmallow Cupcakes.

We planned to cut the top a little and filled it with the fillings, too bad, it'll take time. Hence, we jumped onto the bandwagon and end up with the filler with a long rounded nozzle. The blueberry jam was then filled into the cupcakes.

Next, the purple buttercream were made. As we do not want much coloring paste to be infused into the buttercream, we add in sufficient amount of blueberry jam into it. Less icing sugar were used, as to fulfill Ma's wishes.

Then, sugar bug came to bit us in the arse. It's time to add some real rough purple colored sugars on the top.

As for the topping, we fully utilize the Blueberry chocolate coated marshmallows from Hershey's. Thumbs up for Ma, so happened that she bought packs of these!

We slice the marshmallows into two and top each of the cupcakes with a slice of it.

And we did slice the decorated final product; the cupcakes into two too. The main reason was to see how much filling can the long nozzle can filled the cavity of the cupcakes. Just a little. We'll try the cone method one fine day.

And the overall product was looking pretty. Taste wise, the blueberry flavor was not as strong as we have expected. We'll definitely scoop in the blueberry preserves - both; to fill or to be used as decors the next time.

Friday, October 5, 2007

The Topless Tiramisu

The family's current obsession is the homemade sambal. A friend of Pa, who opens up a restaurant, shop, whatever it is in Serdang, serves great luscious sambal dishes. Ranging from seafoods to veggies. As their sambals were addictive and delish, it was not surprising that he has been selling buckets of it; just for a sum of RM10. The sambal were sweet and best of all, loads of dried prawns. Very very fattening and high in calories.

We found out that the sambal was best served together with coconuts and glutinous rice. Hence, we were then hooked up with the Grilled Glutinous Rice With Sambal. Or shall we say this in Bahasa Melayu; which is Pulut Panggang.

Helpers came in to pluck, wash, cut and dry the fresh banana leaves, taken from the graveyard nearby. Okay, we're not that daring. They plucked it somewhere though. Ma helped too, as this is her main yet brilliant idea. We would love to use the banana leaves to wrap up the glutinous rice but we still prefer using the aluminium foil as it doesn't absorb oil and is more convenient. Ma insists that the banana leaves is a better choice to picked as it basically had a sweet and fresh aroma which will heightens the flavor of the glutinous rice while protecting the rice itself from direct heat. And boy, it was so true.

As for the filling, which is a combination of brown sugar, fresh grated coconut and sambals, it blends well together and tasted good. Recipe as follows;

Grilled Glutinous Rice With Sambal

Glutinous Rice;
500g glutinous rice
3 cups of drinking water
1 grated coconut
1 teaspoon salt
Some oil, for the use of brushing during grilling
Approximate 6 banana leaves

1. Wash the banana leaves with boiling water to eliminate contamination and dirts. Pat dry it with a clean cloth. Cut the leaves into squares of 15cm long.
2. Soak the glutinous rice into 2 cups of water for an hour or so. Set aside.
3. Add 1 cup of water into the freshly grated coconut. Squeeze out the coconut milk or santan with a cheesecloth. This will probably yield 1-1/2 cups of coconut milk. Set aside.
4. After an hour or so, drain the glutinous rice. Combine the glutinous rice with the coconut milk and salt. Scoop onto a rectangular baking tray or stainless steel tray. Bring to steam until cooked. This will take about 20-25 minutes. Do not overcooked because the rice will turn soft and sticky.
5. Once cooked, set aside to cool completely.

2 tablespoon cooking oil
1/2 cup young grated coconut

2 tablespoon brown sugar
1 cup of ready made sambal
1 teaspoon salt

1. Heat cooking oil on a pan on low heat. Add in the coconut and brown sugar and fry.
2. Mix in sambal and salt. Fry and mix until well combined, takes approximately 5 minutes on low heat.
3. Set aside to cool.

1. Get the banana leaves, glutinous rice and fillings nearby so it becomes more handy and convenient. Place 3 tablespoons of glutinous rice onto the banana leave. Spread and flatten the glutinous rice by pressing the rice with the other side of the banana leave. The rice will look like flattened, and as large as 8x8cm.

2. Then, place a tablespoonful or maybe even more fillings onto the rice. Lined the fillings on one side of the rice. Hold two ends of the banana leaves and press lightly. Open up the banana leave and place some glutinous rice to cover both ends. Hold two ends of banana leave and press lightly on the top and sides of the rice. It will look like the shot above.

3. Roll the banana leave like the shot above. Secure the two ends with a stapler. Repeat procedures until the ingredients are wiped out clean!

4. Then, place each of the wrapped up glutinous rice onto a baking tray. Preheat oven on 150''C. Brush with some cooking oil on its body. Bake for 5 minutes. Then, turn the rolls on the other side. Bake for another 5-8 minutes. Serve while it's hot. =}

On the main topic of the post, we, basically had made a topless cake for Uncle Phill's 51st birthday. It was Pa's idea for having a Golf Course Tiramisu Cake with the obvious theme of; golf and turfs, for his recuperated brother. Uncle Phill is recovering from his bypass surgery and we were blessed that he is in the pink of health now.

We laid our paws and hands onto the cake, be it decorating or stacking up sky-high cakes, on the day before his birthday. We've found out that the sponges are lack of coffee aroma and taste though heaps of tablespoonfuls of instant coffee powder and coffee emulco have been forced to blend in with the former vanilla batter. More sachets of instant coffee were used just for the sponges.

While the sponges was then sent to the preheated oven for baking, we chop the dark cooking chocolate into chunky thin films, prepare the coffee syrup and most importantly, beat up the sponge fingers batter. The sponge fingers were devastating, in terms of its shape. It looks like dried fawn baby corals from far. Nevertheless, it tasted like a real sponge finger. =)

Once the baking is done, the coffee sponges and sponge fingers were cooled on a wire rack. We slice the coffee sponge into 3 slices since we opt for a tall cake. The first slice were laid onto the cake board, followed by brushing the coffee sponge with coffee syrup, sprinkling chunks of thin-filmed chocolate chunks and arranging the dipped-into-coffee-syrup sponge fingers onto the first cake sponge.

Next. we poured in a generous amount of coffee whipped cream, this is followed by the yummy mascarpone cheese mixture. We find that a single colored cream is dull and bored, so, we tried to go for two tones; the coffee whipped cream was light brown in color while on the other hand, the cheesy mixture was pale yellow.

After assembling the sky-high cake, it was then covered with tasteless whipped whipping cream. Then, the watery chocolate ganache was the next thing for us to fiddled with. Melting the ganache was easy. But identifying the right consistency of the ganache was way harder than we've thought. The outcome was B-okay. It looked smoother on the top relatively with the sides.

During chilling the whole cake in the refrigerator, we land our paws and hands onto the edible golf balls. Rocher's were used since it is large enough to portray golf balls.

By then, we flattened the white sugarpastes with the roller and wrap it around the Rocher's. Disposable gloves were used as we were too afraid that the cost of paying off doctors' bills exceeds the cost of the cake. To look more like a golf ball, tiny holes were crafted.

Next, we molded the flagpole with the number 51 written on the flag. The flag was made out of sugarpaste as well, while the pole was a wooden chopstick. The crafted sugarpastes were placed into a container and it will be used to decorate the cake on the day it was cut.

We moved on with the artificial turf.
And we were speechless when it comes to THAT artificial green turf.

Rather than kneading a green fondant to portray the turf, we opt for the green ganache. We mixed in too much of the whipping cream into the melted white chocolate during the boiling session runs. It looked uber slimy and poisonous. Very toxic-looking. Here comes the ugly. Blame Fatass's instinct!

Lastly, the piping session. We prefer piping these words in non-italic fonts as our cursive were not that pretty to the eye. And yeah, we omitted 'Uncle' as this is part of Pa's gift. He pays, we bake! ;)

As for the cake itself, it was real sky-high tall. It tasted not too bitter and not that sweet either. The mascarpone cheese was the best part.
Oh boy, here comes the naked truth, most of them preferred eating the cake than the green slime. Hence, the cake go naked without its coat. Well, one word; topless.

The picture above; the cake's eye view. Despite of the green ugly watery slime, we were happy with the end result though the decorations turned out ugly. One shoutout before this paw-printed post ends, Happy Buttday Uncle Phill! =)