Tag Archives: coffee

Hazelnut Opera Cake

After months of school in Taiwan, I’ve realised that there’s something scarily wrong in society. It may be the influence of the media, according to my analysis, that’s making girls feel that they have to conform to the media’s definition of what is “beauty” in order to fit into society. My skinny underweight friends in medicine complain that they are too fat while their chests are as flat as most guys and even flatter than some guys (you know, those who work out). They set weight loss goals which would turn them into skeletons while the other girls, still slim but of acceptable weight, whine about how they need to lose weight all the time. Its downright annoying, and to an extent, even disturbing. 

I can’t understand why people can’t accept their weight for what it has been the last 5 years of their lives (the same weight since past puberty).  My other friends tell me its because guys like girls that way– bony and slim– and so girls, in order to attract the guys they like, want to look skinny for them. Honestly, I doubt guys enjoy girls yapping to them about how they should lose weight without fail everyday. I believe its not the guys’ fault. True love is about loving the person for who he or she is, accepting the person for being him/herself, whether he/she is thin or fat, ugly or beautiful (everyone’s bound to get old one day). Trying to make yourself look skinnier to attract guys, or just because you want to look like a model is wrong. Its alright to believe in yourself, and to believe in God, because He will lead us to the right person.

More about “Fat Talk Free” here:

http://feminspire.com/fat-talk-free-week-changing-the-way-we-talk-and-think-about-our-bodies/

Find the “Fat Talk Free” Pledge here: http://bi3d.tridelta.org/Pledge

Alright, and what better than a calorific Hazelnut Opera Cake to end this post?

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In case you were wondering, here’s the layering of the cake components from top to bottom:

Ganache

Cake

Coffee Buttercream

Cake

Ganache

Cake

Coffee Buttercream

Cake

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This recipe was adapted from Honeybee Sweets

opera3 opera4

opera5

Recipe for Coffee French Buttercream was adapted from 萧影欢城

opera11

opera8

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For the text version of this recipe, click here: Hazelnut opera cake

Ciao!

Healthier Tiramisu for TWO (w Vegan option)

Its Life.

It seems like just yesterday that I had long hair reaching my waist, when I was seated with the most horrible person on earth, taught by the worst teacher in the universe. It seems like just yesterday that I told myself never ever to become a teacher when I grow up.

It seems like just yesterday that I was having the worst day of my life.

Time passes so quickly! There are so many parts of my life I can no longer remember and many others I don’t want to remember. But its now the time of my life to decide what the rest of my life will be and the parts that will make it. That is– the career I will have. Obviously I can never become a baker (neither good enough nor allowed), a teacher or a doctor or lawyer since I don’t do very well in my studies no matter how hard I try.

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I had to narrow down the choices. Here is the list  with the ‘problem’ by the side.

  1. Food Science and Technology (only 50 places per year)
  2. Advertising 
  3. Psychology (may have problems getting a job)
  4. Nutrition (only available overseas)
  5. Product Design (not sure how much I’m really interested in it)
  6. Don’t know anymore.

Its just a reference. And since I have a ‘life plan’ for if-the-world-doesn’t-end-in-2012, I can actually do anything I don’t hate (since the list I hate contains most things).

And apparently, between the two best JCs in Singapore, the better one is the one your girlfriend will be in, according to the incredibly warped logic of my brother. (sorry that its irrelevant. I just had to comment about it)

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Anyway, today I made a healthier version of Tiramisu! I’m only okay with Tiramisu but its great to know that I know how to make it. Its the second recipe I’m making for my “Request a Recipe Makeover” feature. 

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Sorry for the runny-looking Tiramisu. I was in a hurry and skipped the refrigerating. 

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I substituted the mascarpone cheese with coconut cream and cream cheese because mascarpone is incredibly expensive and the substitution opens up a vegan option. 

You can skip making the cake and use ready-made sponge fingers/lady fingers instead. 

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Click to enlarge

For VEGAN version, use vegan lady fingers (recipe here) and tofutti cream cheese instead of regular cream cheese. 

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Have a great day.

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Marbled Pound Cake with Perfected Mock ‘Buttercream’ (Whole Wheat, Low Fat & w Vegan option)

What happened on New Year’s eve?

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I:

  • Watched 3 hours of Lizzie McGuire while waiting for Show Luo to magically appear on my television screen. Yes, I’m on a ‘Lizzie McGuire’ streak right now. Season 2 already, by the way.
  • Watched a giant beetle crawl over the television screen but couldn’t pick up enough courage to grab the only heavy object in the discinity– my newly bought book– to kill that creepy thing.
  • Shook my dad continuously for 5 minutes until my arms felt like they’d break off so that he could  probably kill the creepy thing. (I ain’t the only one afraid of being in close proximity to a living organism with a gross hard exoskeleton)

Note: did not work. Should try pouring water over him. But that would mean I have to clean up the mess. Maybe I should try my uncles’ method i.e. pour salt into his mouth. Not a good idea either. Dad has high blood pressure among other things. Got it! Chilli. He’ll kill me, which would be illegal so he probably wouldn’t…

  • Drank 3 cups of lemonade and 3 cups of barley water.
  • Wondered if I’m gonna die the next day. You know, 2012? Maybe not. I’m still alive.

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I decided to make my first pound cake today.

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It was yummy.

Take a look.

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What you need to look out for especially in this recipe is my perfected Dairy-Free, low fat, low sugar buttercream that’s pretty darn delicious thanks to a magical ingredient called PEANUT FLOUR! So its basically a peanut butter chocolate buttercream. That holds its shape!

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Marbled Pound Cake with Perfected Mock ‘Buttercream’

No. of servings: 10

Print Friendly and PDF

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Ingredients

For Cake
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Based on  this Recipe.
Which was adapted from Alice Medrich’s Chocolate and The Art of Low Fat Desserts
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  • 1 1/2 cups/ 171 grams cake flour
  • 1/2 cup/ 70 grams whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso or coffee powder
  • 1/3 cup dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 1/3 cup/ 60 grams sugar
  • 2/3 cup/ 140 grams sugar
  • 1 whole egg + 1 egg white, stirred (vegan: 1 cup minus 1 1/2 tbsp silken tofu puree)
  • 5 Tablespoons/ 45 grams low fat sprea(note: this is vegan)
  • 1 cup nonfat yogurt (vegan: 1/2 tsp lemon juice + enough soy milk to make 1/2 cup)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
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For Mock Buttercream
  • 3 tbsp/ 1.5 oz fat free or low fat cream cheese  (vegan: use tofutti OR more low fat spread)
  • 1/4 cup low fat spread
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup/27 g powdered sugar
  • 2 heaped tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup peanut flour
  • 2 tbsp cake flour
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Directions

Note that a hand mixer can be used in place of the stand mixer for this recipe.

For cake:
Have all ingredients at room temp. Preheat oven to 180ºC /35oºF with rack in the lower third of the oven. Spray 8-10 cup tube pan with cooking spray.

Bowl 1: Use a whisk to combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Sift together. Note: because whole wheat flour is used, there are some bran flakes left in the sift. Don’t worry. Just dump them into the sifted mixture and mix well. Set aside.

Bowl 2: In a small bowl combine the espresso powder, cocoa and 1/3 cup of the sugar with 3 tbsp of water. Whisk until smooth. Set aside.

Bowl 3: In another small bowl, whisk whole egg with egg white. Set aside. (skip for vegan version just measure out tofu in a bowl)

Mixing bowl: Cut the butter into pieces and place in an electric mixing bowl. Beat for 1 minute to soften. Gradually add remaining 2/3 cup of sugar and beat at high speed for about 3 minutes.Dribble eggs (vegan: pureed tofu)  in slowly, about 1 T at a time, beating constantly for about 2 minutes. On low speed, beat in a third of the flour mixture. On medium-high speed, beat in half of the yogurt (vegan: soured soy milk). On low speed, beat in half of the remaining flour. On high speed, beat in the rest of the yogurt (vegan: soured soy milk) and the vanilla. On low speed, beat in the remaining flour.

Bowl 5: Measure out 1 1/2 cups of yogurt batter (vegan: soured soy milk) and mix into the cocoa mixture. Set aside.

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Use a large spoon to fill the bottom of the pan with about three quarters of the white batter placed in dollops. Cover the white batter with dollops of chocolate batter. Top the chocolate batter with small dollops of white batter spaced so that the chocolate batter shows through. Use a table knife to marble the batters together with a circular or zigzag motion; be careful not to blend them too much. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until the cake starts to pull away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted in comes out clean.

Cool for 10-15 minutes on a rack. Unmold the cake. Cool completely before serving or storing.

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For mock buttercream:
Sift dry ingredients together. Whip cream cheese and low fat spread until evenly mixed.  Add in dry ingredients and all remaining ingredients and mix till a thick ‘buttercream’ is formed. If mixture is still not thick enough, add a tbsp of cake flour at a time. 

This versatile frosting can be used to frost shapes like roses and stuff 😀

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Assembly:

Slice the cake into half. Spread filling on bottom layer and cover with top layer. Frost cake as you wish.

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I love looking at the bottom of the pound cake– to me, its what makes the pound cake.

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It doesn’t exactly fall into the category of low calorie desserts. But it  is  a reduced calorie food. So go ahead and have 2 pieces. Or more

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Love ya! Enjoy your first few days of 2012. Or if you believe so, the beginning of the last days… please don’t freak out now.

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Low Fat Two-Tone Cheese Tart (w vegan option)

If only Santa were real (little kids who happen to chance upon this post, sorry for breaking your innocent little hearts). But there still is God. I think He already knows what we want and tries to give us some of our wishes too. Still, my mum always reminds me that we still have to tell Him too because it makes a difference. I’m not sure why though. 

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This Christmas, I wish

  1. For real friends, who I don’t feel awkward and fake talking to
  2. For my dad to get a better job (that he also likes)
  3. For my mum to be happy with hers and get along with her colleagues
  4. that I’ll be on my way to making my dreams come true
  5. For good friends, for real friends, for friends I’m comfortable with, I can’t say this enough
  6. to eat what I want whenever I want and not gain weight (or better still be able to lose weight haha– learnt this from 黄鸿升)
  7. my whole family to be healthy and happy
  8. be happy, be happy, be happy
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I just made my first successful tart, and I want to share it with all of you!
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Two Tone Cheese Tart

No. of servings: 5

Print Friendly and PDF

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Ingredients

For Wholegrain Shortbread Crust
  • 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup oat flour
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup light margarine/butter
  • 1 tsp low fat cream cheese (vegan: tofutti)
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For Cappuccino Cream Cheese filling
  • 8 tbsp/ 4 oz low fat cream cheese (vegan: tofutti)
  • 1 tsp nonfat yogurt (or more cream cheese)
  • 1/2 tsp instant coffee powder
  • 1 egg (vegan: 1/4 cup pureed silken tofu)
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sugar
For Chocolate PB Cream Cheese filling
  • 8 tbsp/ 4 oz low fat cream cheese (vegan: tofutti)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips (vegan: vegan choco chips)
  • 2 tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
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Directions

For Wholegrain Crust
1. Blend ingredients in a blender/food processor till a dough forms.
2. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 10 minutes.
3. Roll out into a 0.5 cm layer.
4. Press into pie mould and bake at 350°F/180°C for 10 minutes.


Cappuccino Cream Cheese filling:

5. Whip cream cheese with a hand mixer or stand mixer.
6. Add sugar and continue mixing.
7. Add remaining ingredients and mix till well blended.
8. Pour over baked shortbread crust and bake at 350°F/180°C for another 10 minutes.
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Chocolate PB Cream Cheese filling:
Note: takes longer time if using broiler.

9. Melt chocolate chips using broiler or in a microwave for 60 seconds. 
10. Add PB and mix till smooth. Return to broiler or in microwave for 30 seconds.
11. Add in remaining ingredients.
12. Return to broiler or in microwave for 30 seconds and mix till smooth.
13. Pour mixture over baked tart with the first layer.
14. Freeze for 2 hours before serving.

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A pictorial view of the layers
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Enjoy your Christmas treat!
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I am submitting my post to Aspiring Bakers #14: Creative Christmas Bakes (December 2011) hosted by Hankerie!

Many thanks to Han Ker for hosting!! 😀

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Also submitted to Very Good Recipes’ White Christmas Recipe Challenge!

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Fat free Milk-Coffee-Buns (with vegan option)

When feeling sad or fed-up, some just sleep on it. Some watch sappy movies. Some do homework (WAIT. Seriously, who does that?!!!) Others… like me… BAKE. I bake bread. While watching ‘How I Met Your Mother’.

Today I baked Milk-coffee-buns. And I can’t fall asleep now though its 2 am.

I’m no coffee drinker and evidently very vulnerable to caffeine dose-initiated-insomnia.

I used the lovely new stand mixer I bought myself so the kneading process shrunk to 8 minutes.

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Fat Free Milk Coffee Buns

No. of servings: 9

Adapted from Happy Home Baker

Print Friendly and PDF

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Ingredients

  • 225g bread flour
  • 75g whole wheat pastry flour
  • 30g caster sugar
  • 2g salt
  • 1 tsp instant yeast
  • 200g milk (vegan: non-dairy milk)
  • 30g fat free cream cheese (vegan: Tofutti cream cheese/ Earth Balance)
  • 4 tsp instant coffee (granules)
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Fillings

Coffee Cream Cheese Custard Filling (my mum’s favorite!)
Instant Custard powder
Fat free Cream Cheese
Hot water
Instant coffee powder
OR
Chocolate Custard Filling
Cocoa powder
Instant Custard powder
Hot water
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Directions

Add all ingredients except cream cheese into the mixer bowl of a stand mixer.

Mix and speed 1 for 1 minute than 2 minutes at speed 2.

Add cream cheese and mix at speed 2 for 4 minutes.

Shape the dough into a smooth round and place in a mixing bowl, cover with cling wrap and let it rise till double in volume for about 80mins.

Remove dough and give a few light kneading on a lightly floured work surface. Press out the trapped air as your knead.

Divide into 9 equal portions and shape into balls.

Cover with cling wrap, let the doughs rest for 15mins.

Shape buns.

Place doughs on a baking tray, lined with parchment paper. Loosely cover with a damp cloth or cling wrap and let dough proof for 30mins.

Bake at preheated oven at 180 degrees Celsius for about 12-15 minutes.

Remove from oven and let cool on wire rack

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This post is going to YEASTSPOTTING!!!

Single Serving Fluffy 100% Wholewheat Mocha-Choco-Muffin Pancakes (Fat-free and vegan)

HELLO fellow human beings!

Today was BAD. I failed my (short) experiment with gluten free chocolate cupcakes. But, hey, its okay not to get it right the first time, isn’t it? It was terrible taste-wise. Too much baking soda, too little sugar. BUT texture-wise, it was AWESOME. It had the exact texture of full-fat muffins, with crumbs and also really moist! Too bad I had to throw away the whole batch…  😦

I’ll get the ‘Original MoFFb Gluten-free Chocolate Muffins’ down on pat for sure… watch out for it soon!

For now, have some pancakes… 😀

By the way, these can be made gluten free! Replace the wholewheat flour with all purpose gluten-free flour and it should turn out well 🙂

Single Serving Fluffy 100% Wholewheat Mocha-Choco-Muffin Pancakes (Fat-free and vegan)

Ingredients:

A

  • 1/4 cup minus 1 teaspoon whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/16 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (Brown sugar recommended!)

B

  • 1/4 teaspoon instant coffee powder
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened soymilk
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 tablespoon applesauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon vinegar

My non-stick pan wasn’t non-stick anymore. Pancakes got stuck and I had to scrape them off (gently). That exexplains the UGLY holes 😦

But not to worry! I just bought myself a new non- stick pizza-pan especially for flipping pancakes! YAY!

Method:

Mix ingredients A together.

Mix ingredients B separately

Pour mixture from B slowly into A while mixing gently.

DO NOT OVERMIX.

It should be very lumpy (not too lumpy that its not mixed properly of course)

Let batter rest for 5-10 minutes.

When a bit of water sizzles in the pan it is ready to pour in the batter.

Continue cooking slowly for another five minutes or until the center is thoroughly done.  You can put a knife in the centre to test it. When it is done put it on a plate and keep it warm in the oven until the other pancakes are finished.

(Method partially retrieved from: http://www.veganoccasions.com/pages/easy-whole-wheat-pancakes.html )

STACK UP YOUR PANCAKES and tuck in 😀

By the way, this is sweet enough to go without any syrup! I usually have them plain 😀

Qn of the day/post: Do you prefer pancakes or waffles?

I prefer pancakes!!!! 😀