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Who Want Some Cheesecake??

Cheesecake for teabreak

Cheesecake for teabreak

Lately, cheesecake recipes kept appearing in the blogs & FB groups that I’ve followed..seemed like everyone is making cheesecake…since I’ve all the ingredients: eggs, creamcheese, butter, whipping cream and sugar..why not?..Baking took about 1hr..when it’s time to remove from the oven, i was really scared coz one of the common failure sunken cake..fortunately for me, it didn’t!! so here we are, my first (baked) cheesecake..taste wise can’t comment now, waiting for it to be chilled in the fridge…will update again after tasting it…

 

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DIY Bak Kwa

It’s been a long while since I last updated my blog!  Gonna start this new year of 2014 with a blast, guess what’s brewing, peeps?!! Well, it’s *drum roll* Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Bak Kwa!!

Bak Kwa is a Hokkein translation of “Rou-gan”. Bak Kwa / Rou-gan is BBQ sweet and salty dried meat in the form of flat thin sheets. It is a very popular Chinese snack and a must-have item during Chinese New Year. That’s why Bak kwa prices tend to sky-rocket every year during Chinese New Year period. Did I sound ambitious? Nah! I’ve made it (& I’m sure you can make it too!). Trust me, it’s not as difficult as what you have thought; in fact, if you follow the recipe, you won’t be too wrong (of course you cannot compare DIY Bak Kwa with “store-bought” ones). Nevertheless, DIY Bak Kwa can be equally tasty too.

DIY Bak Kwa (BBQ Pork Jerky)

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DIY Bak Kwa (BBQ Pork Jerky)

Bak Kwa (BBQ Pork Jerky)

Bak Kwa (BBQ Pork Jerky)

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Ingredients

Ingredients

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My Macaron Journey (马克龙)

I’m drawn to macarons not because of their taste but more of the look.  When I discovered how costly these little creatures are selling out there (i.e. almost $2.20 for one “burger”), I was shocked and determined to make some myself.  So I googled and found these links below to be quite useful:

Macaron 101: French Meringue

A Macaron Troubleshooting Guide: Useful Tips and Advice to Master the French Delicacy

Videos:

Learn How to Make Macarons in 5 Minutes

French Macarons – Recipe by Laura Vitale – Laura in the Kitchen Episode 173

I’ve learned that macaron need only few main ingredients like almond flour; icing sugar; granulated sugar; aged egg white (colouring and cream of tartar is optional).  The making of macaron seems to be relatively easy with few steps:

1. Beat egg white with granulated sugar to stiff peak.

2. Sieve almond flour and icing sugar.

3. Mix (2) into (1).

4. Pipe (3) into template and send for baking.

5. Cross your fingers, happy waiting and praying for pretty macarons….if you don’t see feet formed by 7-8 mins; you’ve FAILED!!!

Seems so easy right?  BUT!!!  Not true, can you believe that I’ve four failed attempts before I finally succeeded on my 5th attempt!

I remembered my first attempt was disastrous; my arm ached after trying to seive the almond powder for at least 1 hour!  Then the almond, egg white mixture was really sticky and runny when I tried to pipe on the parchment paper template (resulting to odd/uneven shape macarons).  After all the hard work, when they came out of the oven, what a dismay! Flat shells AND with no feet!  Taste wise: they were too sweet; very sticky and difficult to chew!  I was really frustrated and  disappointed!  How could I fail with such easy steps!!! And the failing continued until one fine day I discovered my mistakes:

Overbeating egg white

There are 4 stages of beating egg white and the last stage was “cotton stage” where the egg white (as the name suggest) become fluffy and can break into cotton like pieces!  It is important NOT to achieve this stage when you make macaron because it will result in flat shells and difficult to chew texture.

Not leaving macarons to “rest” enough before sending them into the oven

You must let them “rest” until they don’t stick to your finger when you touch them before they are ready to bake.  This step is important because if the shells are “harden” during the “resting” period, the hot air cannot escape while baking in the oven and then the feet can be formed at the bottom.

Check this pictures on my macaron failures:

So after discovering my mistakes, I finally got the courage to try again and this time I followed this recipe from Felicia Chiew

马卡龙 – Macaron ♥

份量: 20块 (10对) 左右

材料:

糖霜 Icing sugar 50g

杏仁粉 Almond flour 50g

砂糖 Granulated sugar 40g

蛋白 egg white 30g

颜色 colouring 3 滴 / 可可粉(褐色) – 5g

做法:

1.先用搅拌器打蛋白(用中速)加入砂糖,分三次加入,​打至硬性发泡

2.可可粉加入过筛的糖霜和过筛杏仁粉,用抹刀 (spatula)以cut and fold的方式将它们搅拌均匀形成 macaron糊 (粘状),待放

(红格步骤意思是如果你的颜色是液体的,就在打蛋白之后​,先加3滴颜色,用抹刀 (spatula) 慢慢搅匀,不可再用搅拌器打,再加糖霜和杏仁粉cut and fold搅拌)

3.将 macaron糊倒进纸袋里,封起,前面尖端剪掉大约1​cm的开口

4.在烤盘内挤出大小一样的圈圈,你可以先在烤纸上画好​大小一致的圈圈,(用盖子或马币20仙),挤圈圈时手要​定,糊从中间挤出,让糊往外圈扩散,而不是旋转式的挤出​哦!

5.macaron糊挤好后,必须要放到表面风干至少3​0分钟,用手触碰表面,丝毫不沾手,才能进行烘烤

6.用牙签把表面小气泡刺破,以免烤出来破裂

7.烤箱预热 140c 10分钟

8.烤盘放入烤箱中层 140c 上下火 , 炬20分钟,基本上 7-8分钟就会看到蕾丝小裙边冒出来了^^

And I succeded at my 5th attempt!  Check these out:

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And when I’ve got the hang of doing macarons, I decided to invest on some macaron tools that I’ve got from Q0010:

And so here it goes, macarons in the shape of mickey mouse; hello kitty and flowers….aren’t they cute?

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My baking & cooking tools :)

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