Monday, January 30, 2012

Pink Praline Cupcakes



I wanted to make a girly cupcakes & it must be pink! Well, that is because these cupcakes are specially dedicated to my favorite nieces, Anjuli & Alexis. While I was wondering in my pantry , I found these lovely pink praline which my friend gave it to me a month ago. I was really glad to find the pink element !! This is my first time baking pink praline cupcakes. I used my usual cupcake recipe & added in finely chopped pink pralines I've sprinkled some finely grounded pink pralines for topping before piping butter cream frosting. I found some paper doilies & decided to make the cupcake wrappers as well. This is my second time decorating cupcakes, I was quite nervous of the whole idea actually . But it  was fun making these girly cupcakes for my cute little nieces.




Jane's corner

Such was Catherine Morland at ten. At fifteen, appearances were mending; she began to curl her hair and long for balls; her complexion improved, her features were softened by plumpness and colour, her eyes gained more animation, and her figure more consequence. Her love of dirt gave way to an inclination for finery, and she grew clean as she grew smart; she had now the pleasure of sometimes hearing her father and mother remark on her personal improvement. "Catherine grows quite a good-looking girl--she is almost pretty today," were words which caught her ears now and then; and how welcome were the sounds! To look almost pretty is an acquisition of higher delight to a girl who has been looking plain the first fifteen years of her life than a beauty from her cradle can ever receive.

Northanger Abbey - Jane Austen (1818)







Pink Praline cupcakes

Ingredients:

350g self-raising flour
150g pink pralines( finely chopped) + 20g grounded pink praline for deco
4 eggs
180g sugar
200g butter (room temperature)
250 ml milk
Deep muffin  tin with cupcake cases

For butter cream frosting
300g soften butter
1 tbsp vanilla essence
250g powdered sugar
2 tbsp hot water

Directions:

1) Preheat oven to 180°C & line deep muffin tins with cupcake cases.

2) Beat butter & sugar till creamy. Gradually add in eggs & stir till combined.



3) Fold in self-raising flour & finely chopped pink praline. Pour in milk gradually & mix till all well combined.

4) Fill cupcake cases three-quarter full with praline batter. Bake for 15 minutes. Let it to cool.


5) To make butter cream frosting - Beat soften butter &  sugar. Add in hot water & vanilla essence, beat till creamy & smooth.

6) Sprinkle grounded praline on cupcakes. Top cupcakes with butter cream using a piping bag with any piping tip that you like & have fun.



This recipe was shared on Clairejustineoxo's Valentine event

                                 Bon Appetit

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Pear Trifle - Trifle à la poire


Recently I've attended a party with the pear theme. I love going to these parties.  It's a great way to exchange recipes and at the same time meet some talented people .So I've decided to make my  pear & speculoss (Dutch spiced biscuits)  trifle for the party. Actually I don't have enough time to do another recipe that I've planned to do. Well, I must admit that I love speculoss . A well known spiced shortcrust biscuits from Belgium & The Netherlands. These biscuits are full with amazing spices such as nutmeg, ginger, cardamon, cloves, cinnamon & white pepper. We can buy these delicious speculoss everywhere especially during the month of December for Saint Nicolas day.




Jane's corner

"How well your brother dances!" was an artless exclamation
of Catherine's towards the close of their conversation,
which at once surprised and amused her companion.
     "Henry!" she replied with a smile.  "Yes, he does
dance very well."
     "He must have thought it very odd to hear me say I
was engaged the other evening, when he saw me sitting down.
But I really had been engaged the whole day to Mr. Thorpe."
Miss Tilney could only bow.  "You cannot think,"
added Catherine after a moment's silence, "how surprised I
was to see him again.  I felt so sure of his being quite
gone away."
     "When Henry had the pleasure of seeing you before,
he was in Bath but for a couple of days.  He came only
to engage lodgings for us."

Northanger Abbey - Jane Austen (1818)



Pear & Speculass Trifle - Trifle à la poire

Ingredients for 4 person

250g speculass biscuits or shortbread/ sablé
3 pears
300g mascarpone cream cheese
8 tbsp sugar
1 tsp of cinnamon
4 glasses

Directions:

1) Peel pears & cut in small cubes . Place them in a cooking pan on medium heat for 5 minutes. Stir so that evenly cooked. Remove from heat & let it to cool.

2)Beat mascarpone cream cheese with sugar & cinnamon till smooth

3) Crush speculasss till fine crumbs & add in glass. Layer with pear compote & topped with cream mixture. Shave chocolate with vegetable peeler for garnish. Refrigerated till serving.


Bon Appetit

Monday, January 23, 2012

Matcha & Lemon Curd Roll


For my Chinese New Year open house party  , I've made the Matcha (Japanese green tea) & lemon curd roll for my friends who will be visiting this afternoon. Never make this before but I was trying my luck by adding Matcha powder into my usual génoise . Luckily it worked!! If not I'll be in big trouble!!




Jane's corner

A very few days more, and Captain Wentworth was known to be at Kellynch, and Mr Musgrove had called on him, and come back warm in his praise, and he was engaged with the Crofts to dine at Uppercross, by the end of another week. It had been a great disappointment to Mr Musgrove to find that no earlier day could be fixed, so impatient was he to shew his gratitude, by seeing Captain Wentworth under his own roof, and welcoming him to all that was strongest and best in his cellars. But a week must pass; only a week, in Anne's reckoning, and then, she supposed, they must meet; and soon she began to wish that she could feel secure even for a week.

Persuasion - Jane Austen ( 1818)





Matcha & Lemon Curd Roll

Ingredients:
2 eggs + 2 yolks
80g sugar
55g flour
3 tsp Matcha powder

For egg white mixture:
3 egg whites + 20g sugar

For Lemon curd butter cream
300g  lemon curd (recipe)
130g soften butter

Directions:

For Matcha genoise:

1) Preheat oven to 200°C & grease baking tray.

2) Beat  2 eggs & yolks together with sugar till creamy.

3)  Sift flour together with Matcha powder. Gradually fold in flour  & Macha powder in cream mixture until all combines.

4) Beat egg whites & sugar till soft peaks form.


5) Gradually add egg white in batter. Stir well till all combined. Pour batter on the baking tray. Spread and smooth out the batter. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes


6) Place a slightly damp clean tea towel over the cake & roll up the roll. Leave to cool for awhile in the tea towel.

For lemon curd butter cream:

7) Beat lemon curd & soften butter till light & creamy

8) Spread lemon curd butter cream on the roll . Roll up the swiss roll away from you, then place  it on a serving plate. Place in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours . Cut both edges of the roll. Sprinkle some Matcha powder on the roll.

Bon Appetit

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Homemade Lemon Curd



I was thinking of making a Matcha roll with Lemon curd,. Since my sister ( DesparatehousewifeinHolland) asked me for the lemon curd recipe, I  think I'll post the recipe here and share this recipe with everyone. It's an easy  recipe and don't take much of your time to make it. I must say that homemade lemon curd it's way better than the one bought in stores. Since I made my own lemon curd , I don't buy them anymore. 





Jane's corner

Fanny had no share in the festivities of the season; but she enjoyed being avowedly useful as her aunt's companion when they called away the rest of the family; and, as Miss Lee had left Mansfield, she naturally became everything to Lady Bertram during the night of a ball or a party. She talked to her, listened to her, read to her; and the tranquillity of such evenings, her perfect security in such a _tete-a-tete_ from any sound of unkindness, was unspeakably welcome to a mind which had seldom known a pause in its alarms or embarrassments. As to her cousins' gaieties, she loved to hear an account of them, especially of the balls, and whom Edmund had danced with; but thought too lowly of her own situation to imagine she should ever be admitted to the same, and listened, therefore, without an idea of any nearer concern in them. Upon the whole, it was a comfortable winter to her; for though it brought no William to England, the never-failing hope of his arrival was worth much.

Mansfield Park - Jane Austen (1814)







Lemon Curd

Ingredients

2 lemon (juice & finely grated rind)
160g sugar
4 eggs
100g butter

Directions:


1) Cut butter in cubes & place it on a double boiler or bain-marie  together with lemon juice, lemon rind, sugar & eggs .  Make sure that the bowl  does not touch the boiling water.

2)  On  low heat stir or whisk the mixture continuously till it thicken. This will take about 15 to 20 minutes.  Once thicken let it to cool before spooning in a sterilized jar


                                                                         Bon Appetit

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Matcha Dragon Cookies for Chinese New Year



After looking at my sister's good friend Lannie's  tasty Chinese New Year cookies, I was tempted to bake one  myself. I have never bake any CNY cookies before so I wanted to make the Dragon cookies. And last week  I have tried making the original recipe of the Dragon cookies. Well, it worked out alright but the only down side was they looked like cute little snakes or even worms, that  my family and friends mocking me about my so called Dragon cookies the whole week!!! So I've decided to make my version of Dragon cookies and Lannie had suggested adding some green coloring . So I did by adding some  Matcha powder (Japanese green tea). I'm still not satisfied with the color .My recipe is totally different from the original recipe. My dragon cookies are more to sablée. Well, whether it melts or not in the mouth as the original version, you have to try this recipe and let me know because it's been ages I've not eaten the famous Dragon cookies. Not only me whose tempted by all the CNY cookies even  Malaymui & Desperate housewife in Holland also joined in the fun and baked some delicious CNY cookies . And they looked  amazingly divine. Wishing all my families and friends around the world a Happy and Prosperous Dragon New Year .Gong Xi Fa Chai








Matcha Dragon Cookies

Ingredients:

420g flour
250g soften butter
150g powdered sugar
60ml oil
30ml milk
4 tsp Matcha powder
2 tbsp corn starch
red food coloring
Piping bag & star shape piping tip


Directions:

1) Sift flour, corn starch & Matcha powder together.


2) Beat  soften butter , sugar & pour in oil , blend  well till combined. Add in gradually the sifted flour mixture. Pour in milk & knead with hand the batter till smooth texture . But if it's too hard, add in some milk to make the dough lighter. The dough should  be soft & easy for piping.




3) Preheat oven to 160°C. Grease baking tray.  Place batter in a piping bag with a  star shape tip & squeeze batter out into zigzag on the baking tray. Using a skewer with sharp ends & red food coloring to dad two eyes onto the dragons.




5) Bake for 5 to 7 minutes till slightly brownish color. Let to cool . 




Bon Appetit

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Galette des rois



Last Sunday we celebrated Epiphany or fête de rois. It is celebrated on the second Sunday after Christmas where we'll have the Galette des rois  which means the cake of the king. On the northern part of France we have the Galette des rois with frangipane or apples. And as for the southern part of France they had the Gâteau de rois. Usually we place a small figurine made of porcelain or plastic in the galette. For the person who gets the part of galette with the figurine means that he or she was crowned as king or queen. And he or she must provide the next cake. It's been many years now I've not bake this Galette with puff pastry & frangipane. Last year I've baked a chocolate version with cherries. Ever since that we can find good quality puff pastry in the store, making the galette makes it easier without spending to much time working on the puff pastry.




Jane's Corner

Elinor, dreading her being tired, led her towards home; and till they reached the door of the cottage, easily conjecturing what her curiosity must be, though no question was suffered to speak it, talked of nothing but Willoughby, and their conversation together; and was carefully minute in every particular of speech and look, where minuteness could be safely indulged. As soon as they entered the house, Marianne, with a kiss of gratitude, and these two words just articulate through her tears, "Tell mamma," withdrew from her sister, and walked slowly up stairs. Elinor would not attempt to disturb a solitude so reasonable as what she now sought; and with a mind anxiously prearranging its results, and a resolution of reviving the subject again, should Marianne fail to do it, she turned into the parlour to fulfill her parting injunction.

Sense & Sensibility - Jane Austen (1811)




Galette des rois à la frangipane

Ingredients:


500g of puff pastry
150g soften butter
3 eggs + 1 yolk
150g powdered sugar
150g grounded almonds

Directions:

1) Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease baking tray.

2) Beat sugar & butter till creamy. Gradually add in eggs, one at a time.

3) Fold in the grounded almond till all well combined.

4) Roll puff pastry, using a 20cm cake ring circle to cut the puff pastry .  You need 2 circle puff pastries. Place 1 circle on the baking tray & spread the frangipane cream on top, leaving 2cm



5)  Brush edges with water & place the 2nd puff pastry on top of the frangipane.  Using a folk & press the edges. You can decorate it with the left over puff pastry .Brush egg yolk on the puff pastry. Place in the oven & bake for 40 minutes till golden brown.




Bon Appetit

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Sugar Coated Dates With Marzipan - Christmas goodies



Ever since I lived in France , my mother-in-law always made these delicious   sugar coated  dates stuffed with colorful marzipan for Christmas & New Year . Some may find it too sweet  &  as for me , I found  it  divine especially with Champagne. So since few years now that  I've been making them for Christmas or even for Easter.  They look so festive & tempting  that many just can't get enough of it.


Jane's corner

A week was gone since Edmund might be supposed in town, and Fanny had heard nothing of him. There were three different conclusions to be drawn from his silence, between which her mind was in fluctuation; each of them at times being held the most probable. Either his going had been again delayed, or he had yet procured no opportunity of seeing Miss Crawford alone, or he was too happy for letter-writing!

Mansfield Park - Jane Austen ( 1814)

 

This is how to make these goodies
 

 The ingredients that you'll need  :
30 Dates,  250g of marzipan,  food coloring of your choice & sugar .

1) Start with silting the dates & remove the seed.


2) Add few drops of coloring to marzipan & knead till the colors are even. Using a teaspoon & spoon to shape marzipan. Roll marzipan between your palms into shaped & stuffed in date.


3) Roll stuffed dates on sugar.



Bon Appetit