Friday, November 21, 2014

Product Review: Silicon Baking Cups


I thought I would pop in to let you guys know that I am still here. This blog has been abandoned for so long (for a good reason), but I want to try to go back posting more often.

As some of you may know from the last post that I was pregnant and I gave birth to my precious daughter last August. Time has surely flown by since then. It wasn't easy for sure, there were tears, there were a lot of hospital visits, lack of sleeps, and everything else. Now that the baby is a bit older (she just turned 3 months), I am so lucky that she could sleep through the night (mostly), and she is such a good baby. But still, I feel like I need more time every day. I am enjoying being a stay-home mom, but I have to go back to work in three weeks and I am dreading leaving my baby alone :(.


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Japanese Cheesecake with Green Tea Swirls

I didn't do much on Memorial Day weekend yesterday. M left to Korea for a business trip, and I went to work on Monday while everyone else was in the pool or BBQ enjoying the sun. I was planning on doing a lot of baking but I didn't do as much as I wanted too. In fact, I only made different components for this and that, but no finished dessert yet. My long-time friend came to visit from Indonesia so we hung out for quite a bit. He was here when I started my early baking life so he got to taste some of my first cakes. I am making some of them while he's here, along with some other desserts like lemon tart.


Friday, May 9, 2014

White Chocolate and Raspberry Cake

It was one of my brother's birthday about a month ago.We didn't actually have any plan to celebrate it as his wife took him to a weekend getaway to Napa for his birthday.

The week after, the wife had a last-minute plan to have a gathering with LOTS of cajun-style shrimp among friends (there is this one place that we wanted to try) and a surprise celebration for my brother's birthday, which means that there had to be a cake. It was only two days before the gathering so I didn't have much time to make any fancy cake, not even to think about what cake to make.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Vanilla Bean Cheesecake with Mango Glaze for A Birthday

Ah. whether has gotten so nice lately and I've also been baking up a storm in my kitchen. I am excited! I guess I should make use of this time as much as I can to bake as I don't think I can bake often enough (or at all) after the baby is born


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Making of A Wedding Cake

 I had the privileged to make a wedding cake for my friends' wedding, H and C about a month ago.  They asked me if I could make their wedding cake many months prior to the wedding, before I found out I was pregnant. Their request was pretty specific, they wanted a fondant-decorated dummy cake, and fancier cakes for the actual cake. The wife, C, had a specific cake in mind, that I would make my chocolate-hazelnut cake as one of them. I had made this cake countless time here and here and here (and many more not posted since it is the same cake) and each time, I changed it a bit. She wanted two kinds, so I suggested a fruity one. I came up with mango-passion and raspberry cake, similar to this cake, but with a bit of passion fruit added.


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Meyer Lemon Tart with Candied Lemon and Peel

Spring is here! It came a month ago already but it seems like California got a late Winter this year. We had cold, rainy, and windy days last week, which is good since we are in severe drought. I even saw some snow on the top of the mountain on my way to work last week. I also saw rainbows, a few times! Despite being thankful for the rain, I have to say that I still LOVE the California sunny warm days, which what we have been getting the past few days after all that cold. I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE this time of the year, I open the windows all day, I try to have lunch outdoor, getting ice creams, it also makes me in the mood of baking!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Mango and Raspberry Entremet

Things have been busy lately, very busy. I am on my 2nd trimester and the nausea and vomiting are definitely much better, though it is coming back now and then. My belly is growing fast too! Having some of the energy back, puts me in the mood of baking. Nevertheless, I baked a lot since the last time I posted. I had wedding cake to make, bridal shower, multiple birthday cakes, wedding anniversary cake, and other simple cakes for snacks.

I went through my cake folder today and I didn't realize how many cakes I made that I had forgotten! Which means, they didn't appear on the blog either. I spent some time to sort them through for blog posts, so you will see some of my old cake pictures (by old, I mean about 1 year ago).

This one cake was one of them, maybe about 6 months back or so. I made this cake for my friend, D (her real name starts with A but we call her D). Her boyfriend had booked my time to make a cake for her way in advance just to make sure that my schedule was still empty at that time. He requested a very simple cake, a nostalgic Indonesian Cheese Cake, which was not a problem at all for me because I could make it in no time. No need a few nights of making different components and many refrigerating times between each layer.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Exotic Orange Cake

 First off, Happy Valentine's Day. Unfortunately, I didn't bake or cook anything as much as I wanted to. We just had dinner at Sweet Tomatoes with my brothers' and their family. DH surprised me with flowers though (and a dozen donut later on though this is not a surprise). It might be normal for others, but not for him. He is not the romantic kind usually, so I was surprised.

I had a lot of plans, a lot. But very few goes to reality lately.

Take this for example. We were planing to go back to M's family place in Louisiana. We made plans, booked our flights, bought this and that, planned to visit my sister and her husband as well. Eeverything seems to fall into place, until the two days before the departure date. I felt so sick to the point the I couldn't move from bed. Then I found out that it was because I am pregnant! I felt worse and worse and had to cancel the flight hours before the departure time. Thank God for understanding hubby. Poor him, trying to take care of me and everything else. He made his own quesadillas, made me instant noodle for the first time (not that I could eat), trying to encourage me when I cried, and all that. This happened for 6 weeks. I was finally able to start going to work two weeks ago and hopefully, things will get better from here.

So there you go, we spent Christmas at home, we celebrated my birthday (in January), very low key. No cakes or foods have come out from my kitchen (except one last week), but I will post the cakes I made before all this happened.

This cake was for my nephew's birthday from last September. I had bookmarked this recipe for a long time when I was looking for a cake which has a combination of orange and caramel. This came about a few months before, where I was making either a caramel creme brulee or salted caramel ice cream or something, and someone cut up some oranges next to me. The smell of both of them together were so good and I could not believe that I didn't think of that combination before. Well, I actually know why, it's because I don't generally like orange-flavored cake. So I started to browse if people had made this combination before and this recipe came up. I read the whole forum. And though I didn't find many pictures online, the forum convinced me enough and the fact that it has mango and passion fruit, it's a go.
My nephew's birthday was the perfect time to try this, since the cake will be consumed by my family only (they are usually the toughest critics). Many people said that the orange flavor was very subtle and that it could use a stronger one. So following the suggestion, I rubbed the orange zest with the sugar to release all the oil from the zest, just like how I make lemon tarts. This is where all the flavor comes from. They also said that the recipe doesn't make enough of the orange bavarian cream, but I followed the recipe anyway and it turned out fine, as long as you are using the correct size for your cake. I didn't have any leftover at all, but I prefer it this way. I hate when I had to waste anything.
This cake requires a bit of assembly (the forum explains this) to get the top of the cake hollowed so that you can pour the mango passion jelly on top. I followed the suggestion on how-to and although I had some difficulty removing the "prop", it turned out fine. I only made half of the jelly recipe as I think from the photo, the jelly layer is way too thick. I still think it is a bit too thick. I used more mango puree than specified, just because passionfruit is very sour and strong. It still turned out more on the tart side that I would have liked for my taste. Some of my family who dislike sour, it was too sour for them, but the other half of my family who loves lemon-flavored anything, they loved it.
Overall, it was a success although I want to tweak it next time to suit more to my liking. By itself, the orange bavarian cream is not strong at all. In fact, I was afraid that after combining everything that the orange taste is going to get lost among the other strong flavors, but it wasn't. Since the orange cream is the major components of the cake, it definitely tastes like an orange. A bit too much for me who doesn't normally like orange cake, so I will cut down a bit next time, leaving just a subtle flavor.
The mango passion jelly was still on the sour side, so I will add more of the mango puree and less passion fruit next time. I love the way it looks though and I love that this cake is different than any other cakes I made. Definitely a positive variation.