Thursday, April 29, 2010

Brownie Coffee Cake

More often than not, when I pay any of my friends a visit no matter what a purpose is, I would bake something to bring along and all of them are now aware of my signature habbit..and none of them would bother to prepare any sweet because they know that it will be organized by me!

Secret is that sometimes I run out of idea what to make, especially if a visit is not planned ahead.. Like today, I didn't know that we were going to my friend's house for dinner until I got her message last night tempting me with lists of my favorite food.. How could I say no to food, right?? So I simply accepted her offer.. then the next thing I did is thinking hard about what to bring along.. was too late to come up with any idea when it's already passed my bed time and plus I had too much alcohol in my blood! So I ended up falling asleep without making any choice..

Anyway, after a nice sleep through the night, I managed to remember about this brownie cake recently posted by someone whom I adore her baking and cooking skill..I decided to give it a try and had my problem solved!

I did a quick search on google about it and I've found one recipe which is so similar to the one I opted for. Typically, I ended up mix and match the two recipes just to fit my taste and fondness..

Here is my version ( adapted from here and here )

1 1/4 cups plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 1/2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter
200 g dark chocolate ( 70% cocoa )
3/4 cup sour cream
2 large eggs
1/2 scant cup light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips


1/2 cup plain flour
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnut
1/4 cup soften butter

1. Heat oven to 350. Butter a 8 inch springform pan.

2. Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and baking soda and salt in a medium bowl and set aside. In a seperate bowl, beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla together until well blended.

3. Melt the butter and the dark chocolate using a double boiler meth until smooth. Remove from heat, let cool down for few minutes then whisk in the egg mixture until blended. Stir in sour cream. Fold in the flour mixture and mix until smooth. Stir in the chocolate chips. Spread batter into prepared pan.

4. Work all streusel ingredients with a fork until coarse crumbs form. Sprinkle over batter in pan. Bake 40-50 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool in the tin on wire rack for 5-10 minutes before unmolding and leave the cake cool to room temperature before slicing.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Revised Rosemary Shortbread..

I made this shortbread the other day and it seemed overbaked considering from color and texture..then  I was kind of curious to see whether there would be any difference or not if I bake it shorter than I've done at the first time

So I decided to remake it and this time with 2 things changed ,firstly, I used 8 inches cake pan instead of 9" as called for in the original recipe. And the second is to reduce a baking time to only 16 minutes..

Now speaking of the outcome, their taste is not the issue here because I used exactly the same amount of all ingredients..but there're few differnces between them..this time, since I used a smaller pan plus shorter baking time, consequently, they're thicker and chewier than the first one. And although they're not as crispy as the first version , yet I could feel crispiness around the edge ! In my point of view, the first version is more like cookie while the second one seems to be a real shortbread.. 

Anyway, strange but little daughter and I thought the same that we prefer the first crispy one to the second proper shortbread !  And I'll leave it up to you which version you think is better...

Monday, April 26, 2010

Rosemary Shortbread

When I thought about what to bake for an afternoon tea snack on Sunday, shortbread just popped up on my head and then I realised that I had never made it before .. 'Just do it'  that's what I told myself !!

Next what kind of shortbread ?? I searched on Epicurious and this rosemary shortbread was one of the results I've got..Not only rosemary that sounded interesting to me but also the recipe doesn't require a resting time in the fridge before baking that made me decide to give it a try !

It took me only 10 minutes to get it done and ready to be bake..super-duper fast and easy recipe.  Only one tiny problem about this recipe is a baking time. It's stated in the recipe to bake for 20-30 minutes but I took my shortbread out of the oven just 18 minutes passed and it was already overbaked ! No harm done, though, the outcome ,compared to all effort needed, was so's lovely and delicious even being overbaked..another highly recommended recipe !!

 Recipe ( adapted from here )

•3/4 sticks (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened

•1 tablespoons honey

•3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar

•1 cup all-purpose flour

•1/4 teaspoon baking powder

•1/2 teaspoon salt

•1 1/2 teaspoons dried rosemary, crumbled

Method :

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. and butter generously a 9-inch cake pan or coat lightly 1 9-inch round shortbread mold with vegetable oil spray.

2. In a bowl with an electric mixer beat butter and honey with sugar until light and fluffy. In another bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and chopped or dried rosemary. Beat flour mixture into butter mixture until just combined.

3. On a lightly floured surface knead dough about 8 times, or until it just comes together. With floured hands press dough evenly into pan or mold. If using cake pan score dough into 8 wedges with floured tines of a fork and with flat sides of tines press edges decoratively. Press small rosemary sprigs on top.

4. Bake shortbread in middle of oven 20 to 30 minutes, or until pale golden, and let stand in pan for 10 minutes. While shortbread is still warm, loosen edges from pan with a small knife and invert onto your hand covered with a kitchen towel. Invert shortbread onto a cutting board and cut halfway through round along score marks. Cool shortbread on a rack.


Naan Bread

To me, eating indian food without naan is like not seeing EIffel Tower when you visit Paris ! It's something you shouldn't miss..and when  my husband told me that he wanted palak gosht for Saturday dinner, this bread just came straight to my mind right away which happened to be a good chance since I'd never made it before..

The recipe I used to make my debut naan is from my recipe file and unfortunately, I couldn't remember  where I've got it from because I apparently forgot to write down a source of the recipe onto a page..what a shame !

Anyway, the original recipe is for 6 servings or pieces while my family is not big enough to serve  a whole I made only 2/3 of recipes and that would yield about 4 pieces of naan which is perfect for my family size !
Here is my adapted version..


• 1 and 2/3 cups of white strong bread flour
• 2/3 teaspoon active dry yeast
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 2 teaspoons sugar
• Pinch of baking soda
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 2 scant tablespoons plain natural yogurt
• 1/2 cup lukewarm water


1. Dissolve active dry yeast in lukewarm water and let it sit for 10 minutes or until the mixture becomes frothy.

2. Add sugar, salt and baking soda to the flour and mix well.

3. Add the oil and yogurt mix, this will become crumbly dough.

4. Add the water/yeast mixture and make into soft dough. Then knead until the dough is smooth. Cover the dough and keep in a warm place for 1.5-2 hours. The dough should almost be double in volume.

5. Heat the oven to 500 degrees with baking tray for at least thirty minutes so the tray is hot. Next turn the oven to high broil.

6. Knead the dough for about two to three minutes and divide the dough into 4 equal parts.

7. Take each piece of dough, one at a time, and roll into 8-inch oval shape. Dust lightly with dry flour to help with the rolling. Before putting the Naan in oven, lightly wet your hands and take the rolled Naan, and flipp them between your palms and place onto your baking/pizza stone into the oven.

8. You can place about 2 Naan on the baking tray at a time. The Naan will take about 2 to 3 minutes to cook, depending upon your oven. After the Naan is baked(Naan should be golden brown color on top). Take naan out of the oven and cool for few minutes before serving.

9. Wait 2 to 3 minutes before baking the next batch of naan. It gives oven the chance to get heated again to max.

Ps. This post has been sent to yeastspotting hosted by Susan of Wild Yeast

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sweet Cream Biscuits

I've been following few of food blogging events for a while and although I'm not committed myself to any of them but I secretly make/bake the same as what they've done !!

I made these biscuits to be served as my husband's an afternoon tea time snack.. This gorgeous biscuit is one of recipes from TWD  which is the food event I've been a fan of and  it seems to be one of ,if not, the easiest and quickest recipes I've ever made !

I made a half of recipe and got exactly 6 pieces as it should be. I served it with butter and strawberry jam which was simply fabulous....

Sweet Cream Biscuits (from Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From My Home to Yours, page 23)

Makes about 12 biscuits

2 cups all-purpose flour (or 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour and 1/3 cup cake flour)
1 Tbsp. baking powder
2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 to 1 and 1/4 cups heavy cream
Getting ready: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Get out a sharp 2-inch-diameter biscuit cutter (I used a glass, and it was fine), and line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat.

Whisk the flour(s), baking powder, sugar and salt together in a bowl. Pour about 1 cup of the cream over the dry ingredients, grab a fork and start tossing the ingredients together. If necessary, add more cream, a spoonful at a time, until you’ve got a nice soft dough. Now reach into the bowl with your hands and give the dough a quick, gentle kneading – 3 or 4 turns should be just enough to bring everything together.

Lightly dust a work surface with flour and turn out the dough. Dust the top of the dough very lightly with flour and pat the dough out with your hands or roll it with a pin until it is about 1/2 inch high. Don’t worry if the dough isn’t completely even – a quick, light touch is more important than accuracy.

Use the biscuit cutter to cut out as many biscuits as you can. Try to cut the biscuits close to one another so you get the most you can out of this first round. By hand or with a small spatula, transfer the biscuits to the baking sheet. Gather together the scraps, working them as little as possible, pat out to a 1/2-inch thickness and cut as many additional biscuits as you can; transfer these to the sheet. (The biscuits can be made to this point and frozen on the baking sheet, then wrapped airtight and kept for up to 2 months. Bake without defrosting – just add a couple more minutes to the oven time.)

Bake the biscuits for 14 to 18 minutes, or until they are tall, puffed and golden brown. Transfer them to a serving basket.


Palak Gosht and Spiced Gobi

I always give my husband few choices to choose for what he would like for Saturday dinner so that I can get things sorted and planned beforehand. This week ,as usual, I picked 2 recipes which are this palak gosht and the other recipe with prawn and let my husband decide what he wanted. And he (who always complains about himself being overweight) chose this indian dish without hesitation..oh dearrr !

Palak Gosht is an indian moghul dish..basicly made of lamb and spinach. I've found the recipe posted by Julie Dreyfoos on which I never heard about it before. What made me interested in the dish is a combination of lamb and spinach and I saved the recipe straight away after I read through the post..

Anyway, I decided to make another Indian dish that had been waiting for me to give it a try for a long time which is a spiced gobi or is kind of aloo gobi without aloo (potato)..ideal for people who don't fancy potato that much like me!

It wouldn't be perfect to have an Indian meal without naan bread, would it ? So I also made naan to serve along with two dishes above..At the end, it undoubtedly turned out to be a great great meal and it's really worth all my effort of making three things at the same time for one meal( which doesn't frequently happen)

As for the result, I am not telling you what I think about it but what I am saying is that my husband asked for the leftovers as a dinner on the next day and that is not what he normally does, to eat something two days in a row.. So you could guess what it means...

You could find the recipe for palak gosht here . Anyway, I made few changes to the original recipe..firstly I cut off amount of lamb to 500 g while added more spanich to it. I also used more yogurt than it's called for in the recipe and the last is to add one chopped tomato to the dish while the original recipe doesn't include it.

And the recipe for the gobi is from Stephen & Kerry of dinnerdiary which could be found here. I didn't make any change but doubled the recipe and didn't bother to measure the water and lemon juice when added..

Finally, please accept my apology for not having excellent photos posted on the site! Because I had to do lots of things at the same time in the kitchen without any help and none of my consumers has a patience to wait for thier food, so I didn't really have enough time to shoot many photos..the photos below are the best I've got..

Here is the palak gosht..


And the spiced gobi..

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Coffee Sponge Cake with Buttercream and Almond Praline

This cake was purposefully made for a friend of mine who turned 40 and what I planned to do at the first place is to make and contribute it to her birthday party as a surprising birthday cake. But unfortunately, what really happened is not the same as it's supposed to be !

Anyway, I ended up making 8 sponge cakes ( with few different recipes and methods ) before I got what I was happy with ( I'm sure lots of you have done the same..finger crossed ! ) and consequently, the final and satisfied outcome wasn't finished in time to be presented at the birthday party ! Needless to say how bad and sorry I felt about the result and more to my friend but think positive, at least I got it done at the end and it's just a one day late !

Here is the recipe I've successfully done ( it's in Thai but you can use google to translate it ! )

Ingredients :

100 g self-raising flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 scant teaspoon salt
3 extra large eggs
90 g caster sugar
50 g melted lukewarm butter
3 tbsp evaporated milk
1 scant tbsp instant coffee powder
10 g emulsifier SP

Method :

1. Preheat the oven to 180 c ( 350 F ). Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl and set aside. Melt the butter and line a parchment paper onto the base of the 8 inches cake tin

2. In a seperated standing mixing bowl with a whisker, beat together the eggs, sugar and emulsifier sp on low-medium speed for 2 minutes until incorperated.

3. Add the flour mixture into the egg mixture and mix on low-medium speed for another 2 minutes, then change to the highest speed and beat for 6 minutes or so until the mixture is thicken and double in volume ( stop to wipe the mixture with a spatula off the sides and bottom of the bowl once or twice).

4.In the mean while, melt together evaporated milk and coffee powder. Set back to a low speed and beat for 2 minutes before adding the coffee mixture and melted butter respectively ( make sure they are all lukewarm ) while the machine is still running on low speed. Mix until the texture is smooth. Poue the batter into the prepared tin and bake in the preheated oven for 25-35 minutes or until the surface springs back when touched.

5. Cool the cake in the tin for 10-15 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack and let cool to the room temperature. Slice the cake into 2 layers and assemble the cake.

Coffee Buttercream

100 g sugar
4 scant teaspoons instant coffee powder
1/4 tsp salt
140 g evaporated milk
1 tbsp golden syrup ( clear honey could be substituted )
1/2 scant tsp salt
210 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
40 g shortening (crisco)

วิธีทำ Coffee Butter Cream

1. นำน้ำตาลทราย ผงกาแฟ และโกลเด้นไซรัป ใส่หม้อ ตามด้วยนมข้นจืดผสมให้เข้ากัน นำขึ้นตั้งไฟอ่อนๆ คนไปเรื่อย ๆ จนกระทั่งเดือดค่ะ แล้วพักไว้ให้เย็น
2. นำเนยเค็มมาหั่นเป็นก้อนเล็ก ๆ และใส่เนยขาวลงไปในโถตีได้เลยค่ะ เปิดความเร็วปานกลาง ตีเค้าไปเรื่อยๆ ๆ ประมาณ 20 นาทีค่ะ หรือจนกว่าจะขึ้นฟูเบา และปาดอ่างเป็นระยะ ๆ
3. ค่อย ๆ เทส่วนผสมครีมกาแฟ(ที่เย็นแล้ว) ลงไปผสมได้เลย เทเป็นสายเล็ก ๆ นะคะ ไมงั้นส่วนผสมจะไม่เข้ากันค่ะ ขั้นตอนนี้ต้องใจเย็น ๆ จ้า
4. ตีจนครีมเนียนค่ะ

Almond pralines

1 cup almond
1 cup sugar