Thursday, 18 August 2011

leaving on a jet plane.

so too many things happened to me this month. how weird. it's almost like Allah has decided to test my level of gratitude when He gave me all I wanted. *takut* sebab nanti tak terbawa semua kurniaan. nanti terlupa untuk sentiasa bersederhana.

anyway, i've been happily baking for the past week. all the orders made me smile. :) thank you ladies!

Oreo Cheesecake for Nadeem's babysitters

 Date Chocolate Cake with Cream Cheese for my MIL.  A seriously good recipe.

Geraldine's Date Cake
Makes one 10-inch cake

2 cups of pitted dates, halved
1 1/4 cups hot coffee (I used plain hot water)
2/3 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 cup white flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup good-quality chocolate chips (or else it will sink)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 10-inch round cake pan, line the bottom with a round of parchment paper and butter the paper as well. (This is an important note!) Set aside. Loosely fill a 2-cup measure with the pitted, halved dates and cover with the hot coffee. Let sit for 5 minutes while you prepare the other ingredients.

2. Cream together the butter and sugars until fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and the vanilla extract. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda into the butter-egg mixture. Mix gently to combine.

3. Pour the dates and coffee into a blender or use an immersion blender to puree the mixture completely. Add the pureed dates to the batter and blend to combine.

4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle the top evenly with the chocolate chips.Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until the edges begin to pull away from the side of the pan. Cool the pan on a rack until cool enough to handle, then gently turn the cake out onto a cake plate. Serve at room temperature.

Ayam madu for berbuka. I like it, hubby didn't. :p 

Of course, mestila ada macarons kan...

Chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream for Sarah - Kak Ann & Abg Zairi's daughter. :)

I'm leaving Fiberail next week. I might/might not cry. I don't know. I'll miss my colleagues so much. Hopefully I'm making the right choice insya Allah.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

9 Years!

Yesterday marked our 9th year anniversary... of being together.. being in (and out of) love... We've been married for 2 years, 7 months, 1 week and 2 days (according to that calculator thing I posted on my old blog). I am so blessed to have such a patient and wonderful husband. He is..... irreplaceable. That's the word. :)

And yesterday, I went for an interview and was immediately hired. Sort of. There's no black and white yet til I go for the pre-employment medical check up. ^_^ The questions are, do I really want this job? Yes. Am I ready? No. Like getting married or giving birth, no one can actually prove that they are really ready to move on. Most people (including me) usually hates moving away from their comfort zone. But I guess, it is the right time. Nadeem is not a lil baby anymore, hubby is in a very comfortable job, we bought a house... So time for something else right?

Right. (Menjawab sendiri. haha)

Buah melaka a.k.a onde-onde. That's for berbuka...

And here's for Jasmine. Thanks! :)

Monday, 1 August 2011

Salam Ramadhan

Hello, sorry for being away for so long. I've been busy baking!! :) That's a good thing, right? And let me tell you, there's no such thing as being confident whenever I put my macarons in the oven. There's always that jittery, that butterflies-in-my-stomach feelings just in case the feet won't be as pretty. And yes, after hundreds of times twisting and turning my batter, sometimes... something just choose to be wrong. Like my choice of eggs, or the weather, or the baking sheets, or whatever. But hey, you just keep doing it because it is LOVE. You do not give up ok!

peach with cream cheese~ 


in the fridge before I pipe in the fillings~

18pcs in a box, ready to go~
 (actually this has 19 because the green ones are a tad smaller)

12pcs in a box~

for weddings, birthdays, engagements.... ~

mama's gift to her classmates~


Red Velvets and green&yellow macs mixed flavors, for Hafiz's wedding. 
Thank you. :)


more favors~

So Nielam inspired me to try pavlova. Eein, my bestfriend wanted it for the longest time tapi biasalah... when I saw how pretty Nielam's pavlova is, baru bersemangat. hahaha. And actually because I figured, the recipe is too easy. Just do the normal french meringue and put it inside the oven for an hour ++. 

this is how it looked like before baking, then it sized up, then when cooled off, jadi penyet like below. topped with fresh whipped cream and fruits. 

I got confused as to why it was so low.... oh rupanya orang letak two layers la. :p nevermind. hubby loved it anyway. susah tau nak suruh orang tak suka makan manis berminat dengan desserts ni. :)

I wrote another post but backdated la ek. See below.  :D

Salam Ramadhan all. Semoga amalan kita lebih baik dari tahun-tahun sebelumnya. Amin.

Friday, 29 July 2011

Macarons 101 : Dianne's Version

It is almost 4am and I'm watching Masterchef Australia while waiting for my oven to cool off before baking my last batch of macarons. I've been baking for the past 4 hours. Hubby was watching TV for the first 2 hours and dozed off in the living room. Nadeem is in our bedroom.

The macarons doesn't look that good, either I overbeat the meringue or that bloody eggs killed it. I don't like the eggs I bought, they were TOO FRESH. I didn't have time to aged it either. I hate to see the low feet! :( and a few actually cracked, or crooked.

Spot the difference?

So let's write this Macarons 101 as reminder of all the mistakes I've done for the past few months. And yes, I'm far from perfect. Gotta learn more! Please take this as a guide, it might not work with you/your kitchen temp/your oven.

1) Some aged the eggwhites, some don't. The method I'm using doesn't require aged eggwhites but I figured if I mixed it with fresh ones, the feet are better looking rather than fresh only or aged only. And please buy normal eggs, no special ones with extra this and that vitamin. No no no. 

2) Meringue : Start slow (speed level 1) then (2) then after finishing all sugar, go (3). Do not overbeat. Helps to check after 2-3 mins just in case. We still want that beak!

3) The texture would be slightly different depends on what type of coloring you use. Ok this, I can't tell how. But I knew that sometimes the batter would be more or less thicker. Adjust the amount of folding during macaronnage.

4) Careful about where you choose to dry your shells. The room temperature has to be right. It should dry in less than one hour (in Malaysia that is). If you need more than that, something is definitely wrong. If you think drying is not important, think again. Hehe. If you haven't bake it after 3 hours though, chances are you'll be getting funny looking macarons.

5) My oven is not big, but not too small. I only bake about 12 pcs of shells at one time per tray. Well, it fits more but since I'm using this cupcake holder (the thick paper with round shapes - see below) below my baking paper to ensure that I don't go out of shape, so.. yeah.. 12pcs at one time. 

This is how I bake my macarons :-

Preheat at 150 degrees, top heat only, 10 mins.
Bake at 140 degrees, top and bottom heat, middle tray, 8 mins.
Then bake at 140 degrees, bottom heat only, middle tray, 2 mins.

FAN-FORCED please. I read that some ppl make it work by not using fan-forced oven though.
The reason why I changed the heat to bottom only after 8 mins is because it needs to cook more but I don't want to brown the top of the macs. Kak Yani uses aluminium foil if she's baking light colored macs but I haven't tried that yet.

6) As if the challenges of making beautiful shells are not enough, you still have the fillings to think about. It is what made your macarons, you. Make sure you make killer fillings ok! 

That's all I can think of right now. Will definitely add more to this list whenever I find new things. 


Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Mactweets Mac Attack #21

My first entry for Mac Attack! I've been having this rainbow attack for a few weeks now, been making macarons since a couple of months ago and I love trying out new colors. I am obviously not a pro just yet. :p 

Anyway, I bought this yummy Double Dutch ice cream from Wall's - Vanilla Flavored with 1) chocolate syrup 2) marshmallows 3) chocolate chips 4) cashewnuts. YUMMY!!!!! Paired it with fresh strawberries too. :)

Over the weekend, I made mom classic buttercake. I love, love the colors! And of course, the cake. It just melt inside my mouth. I used the recipe from Elin who I believe took the recipe from Tintin at CookingCrave. Thank you! Ah, no, I didn't take an extra effort to make the lovely rainbow cake. But I will, one day. :)

Hubby was complaining that he was really hungry when this cake was in the oven and we had to wait another 15mins for me to make sure that the cake was baked properly before we went out for lunch (thank God we waited because I sorta had a suspicion that 40 mins is too long for my oven, I ended up baking this beauty for only 30 mins). To make up, I made spaghetti beef bolognese with cheese for lunch on Sunday using my bestfriend Eein's recipe. Which, of course, I will keep as her secret. :) 

Yeah, it doesn't look that good. I can be boring when it comes to taking food photos. But I promise you that this is really delicious. Hehe. 

By the way, I watched Masterchef Australia last night and they made macarons tower. Gorgeous! I mean, what Chef Adriano Zumbo made (he is cute too. hehe) and look at the recipes available at the website!!! I died. ahhhhh... made me wanna try everything!

till then, have a great week!

Tuesday, 12 July 2011


Adding colors to the list. This is peach, baby! :)

Monday, 11 July 2011

Last Weekend

It was a nice weekend methinks. We went back to Johor after about two hours of hubby's arrival in Malaysia. He gave me a box of Godiva, a gift from Dr Ang Swee Chai who went on the Gaza mission with hubby. Yay! Inspired la nak buat choc ala Godiva kan. haha.


Hubby bought both of us new glasses and I'm LOVIN it! :D gotta take pix of it. I got mine (in pink, mind you) but his will arrive by tomorrow or Thursday. We had lovely makan-makan on Sunday, MIL cooked nasi ayam and I baked Hummingbird!

And here's my hero. I love you gorgeous.