Friday, April 30, 2010

Red Velvet Cuppies




I always see red velvet cupcakes sold in stores but never really feel like trying them. Its always the usual pick of vanilla or chocolate cupcakes....how boring yeah. Its a friend's request that trigger me to try and make this cuppies and at the same time wondering...what is the real taste of this red velvet as the name sounds very luxurious to me.

I actually tried baking them using the recipe that my friend forwarded but the result was a disaster and the trash bin was happy to gulp them all. Sigh........... Not wanting to give up, I tried again using a recipe I found from someone's blog. It taste not too bad but the ingredients list was just too long and it wasn't simple to make, too many steps. Still not very happy about this and since I was down town yesterday, I decided to buy the red velvet cupcakes from a reputable store here to taste theirs and to compare with my produce. You cant go wrong isn't it buying from a famous bakery to find out how the real taste should be.

Finally today, after my 3rd attempt, I was very pleased with the outcome. My little testers at home said to me that it tasted better than the ones I bought yesterday........Kids are innocent alright so I am sure their comments are true...hahahahahaha

Got this recipe from Wilton

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons Red (no-taste) Icing Color
1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons water
1 1/2 teaspoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon baking soda

instructions
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line standard muffin pan with baking cups. In medium bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt; set aside. In large bowl, cream butter and sugar with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, icing color and vanilla extract; mix well until icing color is well incorporated (scraping down sides of bowl when necessary). Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk to butter mixture; add water and mix well. In small bowl, combine white vinegar and baking soda; gently stir into cupcake mixture. Spoon into baking cups. Bake 20-22 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in pan on cooling rack for 5-8 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan; cool completely

For the Cream Cheese Topping, here's what I used:-

Cream Cheese Topping

250 gram Philadelphia cream cheese
100 gram unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Instructions:

Beat cream cheese and butter till light and fluffy. Add the vanilla essence and mix well.
Add the icing sugar and beat well. Spread on your cake.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Humidity in Hong Kong

Ever since I arrived this vibrant city with 7 million population, the most notable differences here is the humidity. Nothing ever gets dry when they’re hung on a line. Even though it’s 22°C outside, it feels more like 15°C because it’s so damp. Humidity is something that Hong Kong is known for as it is surrounded by water and filled with tall buildings. It makes me wonder how people deal with mold in their houses. Its wet everywhere. Been home most of the time and yet feel so sticky...cant imagine if I were to be out on a hot day. Not even 3 months staying here the wall in my bedroom is already moldy.....??? Of course, the solution is to get a dehumidifier to help absorb the water and thus help guard your precious things in the house...otherwise not only the books will get wrinkly...my skin will need a lot of La Mer cream to prevent from wrinkling too....lols!! The weather is so bad so much so dehumidifier is currently out of stock. The shop assistant ask me to come back at the end of this month when their new stock arrive.

This is really classic and just cant help but to share this with you guys. One day somebody almost slipped at the corridor of my house as the floor was really wet and slippery, to me it doesnt show a good sign. Having children it just creeps me out to see those bloody wet floor. Everyday I pray that everyone will be alright and had to exercise my vocal reminding the kids to be careful when walking. Since the wall is moldy too, I decided to call the maintenance guys for them to come have a look and at the same time hoping that they will rectify the problem. Ding Dong.......

Mr H : Good morning Madam, I come to see the wall and to check about your complaint of the wet floor.....
Me: Oh thank you for coming Mr H, (took him to the room and showed him the wall - he took some pictures of the wall)
Mr H : Oh okay madam, I will show this picture to my office and we will get the contractor to come and clean the wall for you.
Me: Em Koi...let me know when you want to come and fix the wall and another thing Mr H. Can you see... the floor is very wet and it is so slippery. Maybe you all should put a dehumidifer here too. It is very dangerous la I think.
Mr H: Oh Okay Madam, I will report to my office and we will fix the problem. You dont worry la.
Me: haiya, haiya and thank you so much Mr H.

DENG...DENG....DENG........ few days later...........this is what I saw on the wall................just cant help but to laugh.
I saw the warning sign hanged up. I believe this will help make the floor dry...........

this is what I mean...the floor is really wet.

the next day, even the warning sign slipped off from the wall.........hahahahahahaha

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Onion Cheese Quiche



Its depressing when the cakes you bake or the sweets you always prepare for the children doesnt appeal to them anymore. I guess they must be bored with the same stuff mummy makes. Enough of sweet desserts I believe, so I decided to make savoury tart for tea one afternoon. It was worth the effort and it was really nice to see them eat and fighting for more. Just finished baking onion cheese quiche again so they could bring to school for their lunch tomorrow. Safe me the hassle of preparing their lunch box in the morning.



Here's the recipe:-

Ingredients:

(For filling)
25gm butter
1 large bombay onion
3 large eggs
50ml cream
150ml milk
70 gm turkey bacon or beef salami (cut into small pieces)
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
100 gm grated cheese
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup chopped parsley

(For Pastry)
200 gm plain flour
100gm butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoon cold water


Method:

To make pastry

1. Mix flour and salt in a bowl. Rub the butter into the flour until it becomes breadcrumbs. Add water and mix to a firm dough. Add more water if required. Knead until it become a smooth dough.
2. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill for 20 minutes.
3. Roll dough on lightly floured surface and use a 23 cm pie tin (loose based pan).
4. Press the pastry firmly to the sides and base of tin. Use a fork to prick the pastry all over. Use a rolling pin to trim the excess pastry.
5. Cover with aluminium foil and put in the freezer for 15 mins.
6. Preheat oven to 200c and blind bake the tart for 15 minutes. Remove the blind beans and foil and continue to bake for another 5 minutes.
7. Remove the tart from the oven and reduce the temperature to 180C.
8. Spread the onion mixture, sprinkle with shredded cheese and pour the milk mixture and bake for 35 minutes or until the filling set.
9. Let cool before removing from the pie tin. Sprinkle with chopped parsley before serving.

To make the filling:-

1. Heat butter in a pan and saute the onion until the onion become soft, add the turkey bacon and saute for a couple minutes more. Remove from fire and let cool.
2. Beat the eggs, cream and milk in a bowl. Add the nutmeg and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Note: You can omit the turkey bacon or beef salami to make a vegetarian quiche. I have tried putting cod fish into the mixture and it taste equally good too. Its up to your own creativity and personal taste....happy trying!!

Monday, April 12, 2010

It's been awhile............

Hello my readers

It has been awhile since my last posting. Not for anything but too occupied with home front. I believe moving always take its toll on anyone. Well, glad that I am back to my normal routine and things are falling nicely into its places. I do miss my life in Nippon (thats history for me) but at the same time I thank God for allowing me the opportunity to discover a new place. It will be a good experience for the family and me especially the children. Thanks to my other half whom has been working so hard for the family thus enabling us to experience new place, people, culture and language.

Slightly over 3 months now and I am very much settle and at my best state in this new environment. The kids are happy with their new school, I have made some new friends and a handful for now to keep my social life abuzz, started my baking business again by chance (special thanks to a friend..you know who you are), I know my whereabouts a little and of course I hope to be able to explore every inch of this Island that I call home for the timebeing.

Its quite easy to live here and there is influx of supply for anything that crosses your mind as long as you have enough lollies in your purse ~ no worries mate. Plenty of choices to suit your budget. Though a person may not speak Cantonese but one can easily get around and adapt to living in this vibrant city called Hong Kong.

At the beach, Park Island for the first time

A view from The Peak during one of the walks

experiencing Yamcha, a must for anyone

Beauty Tip of the Day