Summary

Give me cake or give me death cookies.

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Cendol- Recipe

I've gone on and on about fun iced drinks from Malaysia in my other blog Where I Like to Eat, most recently in my final post of the Malaysiafiles. One of the things I love most is cendol, which is both the icy dessert itself and the green jelly stands that it's made with.


The above I made with shaved ice, coconut milk and palm sugar syrup. Cendol can also be mixed with other jellies and fruits to make a dessert more like ice kacang:


Either way, it's a great texture and flavour addition to a refreshing iced dessert. It's green because of pandan extract, which has a lovely delicate fragrance, and as for it being a jelly... well, it's more like a starchy noodle.


Here's how I make it.

 Ingredients:

-5tbsp green pea/ mung bean/ hoen kwe flour
-2tbsp rice flour
-2tbsp tapioca flour
-1tsp pandan paste (or pandan essence + green food colouring)
-625ml water

Method:

1) In a small saucepan, mix the flours with the water and pandan essence together, first adding the flours and then the water bit by bit to prevent lumps.



2) Slowly bring the mixture to a gentle simmer, stirring with a wooden spoon all the while, until it starts to thicken...


3) Continue to cook until the mixture is really thick and dollopy, and goes translucent.


4) Prepare a big bowl of ice water: once your mixture hits this, it'll cool and solidify.


5) Using either a colander to push the batter through or- even easier- a potato ricer, squeeze your still-hot cendol batter through the holes over the icy water to make short-ish 'worms'.


6) Store in an airtight container for up to a week in the fridge, and add to your desserts as and when you like!


Saturday, 17 May 2014

Vintage Steampunk Cupcakes

Made some vintage steampunk cupcakes to take to Ipswich today for a couple of friends: these are chocolate sponge cupcakes with chocolate fudge frosting, finished with (literal) chocolate buttons.


Ooh, shiny.



Originally I just wanted to spray the buttons, but then I decided it would be kind of cool to use the pearl and gold sprays on the cupcakes themselves, too. One thing led to another and, well... steampunk cupcakes!

I also used some art deco-style black and white cupcake cases that I found lurking in my Cake Stuff Cupboard, resulting in altogether rather dramatic cupcakes.

Saucy sponge shot in 3, 2, 1:

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Chocomint Monster Cake

Another for my dad's friend, this one's a chocolate fudge cake decorated with chocolate fingers and a lot of mint chocolate Aero bubbles.


I wanted to make the side of it look like it was frothing over with the mint bubbles, while the back of it was more 'sensible'.


I left the top pretty simple since the rest of the cake was so crazy! Plus there's space for candles if needed.

Happy birthday Neil, and best wishes to the whole family!

Friday, 2 May 2014

Sparkly Cut and Slice Shortbread- Recipe

I wanted to make pretty little cut-and-slice shortbread pieces because our hotel in Malaysia served them for tea, and I became quite fond of them (a little too fond... I'm going to be working them off at the gym for quite a while). Also, this week I needed something quick and easy to make during a weeknight as my weekend is quite packed: a trip to Brighton to see a friend on Saturday, and a trip to Birmingham for another couple of friends' baby shower on Sunday.


You don't even need an electric whisk for this recipe- just a bowl and a wooden spoon. All you have to do is mix up the dough, roll it up into logs, chill them, slice them and bake them. I've made these ones a little cuter by rolling the cookie dough logs in coloured glitter sugar before slicing and baking.

The dough for this recipe seems quite sticky, but the softer the dough, the more melt-in-the-mouth the shortbread is. It's a fine balance though, since too little flour results in a 'cakey' biscuit, and also makes it more difficult for the dough to hold its shape in the oven. I've got the former sorted- as for the latter, a way to combat this is to make sure the dough is as cold as possible before it goes into the oven.

Aside from the buttery, melt-in-the-mouthness of these shortbread biscuits and the ridiculously easy method, one of the best things about this recipe is you can freeze the dough for up to a couple of months until you need it. All you need to do is take a frozen log of dough out, slice it up and bake while still frozen. It's pretty much as close as you can get to have freshly-baked cookies on demand!


Ingredients:

250g unsalted butter, softened
140g caster sugar
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
400g plain flour
1/2tsp baking powder
1tsp vanilla
1 egg white, saved from the separated egg
Sprinkles/ glitter sugar of your choice

Method:

1) In a large bowl, stir the butter and sugar vigorously together until light and fluffy, and thoroughly stir in the egg, egg yolk and vanilla.

2) Carefully stir in the flour and baking powder until you have a smooth sticky dough.


3) Divide into at least two portions (I made three as I had three colours of sugar sprinkles- one log would be too big even if you only have one type of sprinkle).


4) Mould each portion into a log shape, wrap up in clingfilm, neaten up your log shape and place in the fridge overnight, or the freezer for a couple of hours.


5) When you're ready to bake your cookies, preheat the oven to 190 degrees C, and line and lightly grease a couple of baking sheets with with baking paper.

6) Retrieve a cookie dough log from the fridge/ freezer and remove the clingfilm. Brush the log with your reserved egg white, and roll in your sugar sprinkles (easiest to pour a load out onto another tray to do this).


7) Slice the log into 1cm thick rounds, place on your prepared baking sheets about an inch apart (they spread a tiny bit), and bake in the oven for 15mins until the edges just start to turn golden.



8) Cool your biscuits on a wire rack, and enjoy! Or, if you're feeling generous, parcel them up in cellophane bags or boxes and give as gifts.


Or not.