Friday, July 25, 2008

Back To Bussiness

OMG. It feels like ages since my last post. Yes, I disappeared for months and here's why. Months ago as it is common in early pregnancy, I got pretty bad morning sickness. Um, all -day -sickness to be precise. I didn't really have appetite for food, not even looking at them. Baking and cooking activities was sooo minimized. I must admit it was the laziest several months in my life. I don't know why I didn't feel like doing anything, you know... besides my primary obligations as a mom and a wife. And another confession to make here is, beside abandoning this blog, I didn't bother to go blog walking too. So forgive me girls...I'll be checking your blogs very soon.
Good news now, number 3 has arrived to this world, healthy and happy. Thank God :))
But as much as I was avoiding my mixer and oven months ago, I couldn't resist when number 1 asked me to make him a birthday cake with car theme. You know boys. I remember what they say about boys : their first love are wheels, not heels. Hmm, true. I decided to go for a cake with 3D cars on it as I haven't done that before. My son picked Luigi and Guido, characters from Disney's Cars movie, the Italian duo who own Casa della Tires, a tyre store in Radiator Spring. The base cake was Lapis Surabaya and the characters were carved from butter cake. But eventually the two cars were too big to stand on the cake although the cake was big ( it took us some time to finish that cake). Finally only Luigi, the more dominant character stood alone on the cake.

Just in case you are wondering, the circles beside Luigi were meant to be tires :D

Another project I have done was birthday cake for my friend's daughter. Aurel, the birthday girl, loves Ariel (mother goose sure loves this rhyme :p) the Little Mermaid. It was her Ariel doll sitting on the cake.
The cake was covered by butter cream. Ariel's scales was made from fondant, which I thought was too plain. Should have carved the scales to make it more natural.

Along with the birthday cake were Flounder-shaped cookies. Initially, Sebastian was also on the list but I gave up. Come on.... Sebastian, a crab or a lobster or whatever he was with his complicated claws... :). Mmm...maybe next time.
It was quite difficult to find a perfect Flounder picture which is not to complicated. Once I found the perfect one from a website, I printed it out, cut, and paste it on a cardboard. The cookie dough then shaped, by cutting with a small sharp knife, according to the shaped cardboard.

Done with shaping, now it's baking time. I found that transferring the cookie dough from the work table to the pan was not very easy. The cookie dough was so delicate, once you slipped, the shape would look strange and you don't have any choice except to make another one.

The baked cookies then ready to be iced with colorful royal icing. This, I think is the most fun part of the process. It's really time consuming, yeah, so much for a cookie. ..But once I saw the outcome, I was quite satisfied. They're not very disappointing, are they?

But despite all the 'fun', if I was asked to do it again, I'm going to think twice :D.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Som Tam (Thai Papaya Salad)

Do you know the best way to eat long beans? Eat it raw with dressing !
Not so long ago I just realized the real taste of long bean when I eat it raw. It is plain, crunchy, and it got a distinct taste which I can't describe.
And when it comes to veggies and salads, I'd say yes, me- love salad. Thanks to my Sundanese father, I could eat a whole plate of lalap with sambal oelek all by myself :-).

This recipe has been in my list for quite some time. I love Thai food, they are similar with Indonesian food. What I love most about them is the combination of sour -from the lemon zest, hot -from the extremely hot bird's eye chili/chili padi, and the aroma -from the lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves, and galangal.

Even this salad, it is very "thai", spicy and fragrant. Really like the dressing, the dried prawn (ebi) combined with chilli, lime juice, garlic, and the fish sauce made it rich yet fresh.
Som Tam (from Chef Wan's Simply Sedap cookbook)
3 cloves garlic, peeled
30 grams dried prawn, soaked in water and drained
4-6 bird's eye chillies
85 grams cup peanuts, roasted
3 tbsp grated palm sugar or brown sugar
2 tomatoes, cut into wedges
1 tbsp tamarind juice from 1 tsp tamarind pulp
2-3 tbsp nam pla (thai fish sauce)
juice of 1-2 limes
350 grams peeled, shredded green papaya
long beans
Pound the garlic, dried prawns, chillies, peanuts and palm sugar until coarsely ground. Add the tomatoes and continue pounding to make the mixture smooth.
Add the tamarind juice, nam pla and lime juice. Stir and transfer to a salad bowl.
Add the papaya and mix well. Serve with raw long beans.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Birthday Cupcakes

I made these cupcakes for Rifqi's first birthday. Vitri, my-late-night- chatting-over-YM-partner :)), recommended Martha Stewart's One Bowl Chocolate Cupcake recipe, posted by Vania in her blog.
It is kind of classic chocolate cake recipe, where you put all the dry ingredients together and then we mix with all the liquid ingredients. Simple indeed. I think this could be the first cake recipe I would teach my daughter, if I had one :))
The cupcakes turn out just nice. Moist, very chocolatey, not too dense, just nice.

Martha Stewart's One Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups Dutch-process cocoa powder
2 1/2 cups sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
2 large whole eggs plus 1 large egg yolk
1 1/4 cups milk
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 1/4 cup warm water

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line 2 standard 12 cup muffin pans with paper liners.Into the bowl of an electric mixer, sift together flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Attact bowl to mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; add the eggs and yolk, the milk, oil, vanilla and warm water. Beat on low speed until smooth and combined, about 3 minutes; scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.Divided batter evently among the muffin cups, filling each about 2/3 full.
Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in the center of a cupcake come out clean, 20-25 minutes. Transfer pans to a wire rack to cool slightly. Invert cupcakes onto the rack; then reinvert and let them cool completely, top sides up.
Frost cupcakes with buttercream, swirling to cover and garnish with chocolate curls.
Cupcakes can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 day.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Blueberry Cheesecake

I've got 3/4-full can of blueberry pie filling in the fridge and didn't have any plans to make blueberry pie coz I don't like it. So after looking for danish cream cheese in Phoon Huat and only found one package after two weeks, I bought Philadelphia cream cheese. Eventually. And why is that? because danish cream cheese is much cheaper, of course, what else?

But no regrets whatsoever, because I knew all along Philly tastes sooo good, and halal (yay..). It is true though, price comes with quality.

Honestly, I prefer New York style cheesecake than blueberry cheesecake. NYCC is creamier and cheesier. Hubby, on the other side likes blueberry cheesecake better because it is more dense in texture yet lighter in flavour.He could eat two slices at once. What? two slices at once? yep, that's savouring cheesecake the barbarian way ;))

I only made half batch of the recipe, enough to satisfy our cheese craving. This recipe is top markotop dah...try it your self, the next time you pass Starbucks, you won't have to drool over their cheesecakes anymore :))

Blueberry Cheese Cake (Recipe by Fatmah Bahalwan)

250 gr biskuit oreo

100 gr margarine lelehkan

1/2 sdt vanili bubuk

200 gr gula pasir

4 butir telur

1 kg cheese cream

250 gr sour cream
250 ml whipped cream

1 sdm gula pasir

250 gr selai blueberry

Cara membuat:
Siapkan loyang bongkar pasang 22 cm olesi mentega, sisihkan.
Hancurkan oreo hingga halus, lalu tuang margarine leleh dan vanili bubuk, aduk rata.
Masukkan adonan biskuit pada loyang, ratakan dan tekan-tekan sampai padat, oven sebentar [5-10 menit] angkat, sisihkan.
Kocok gula dan telur hingga kental, masukkan cheese cream dan sour cream bergantian sambil dikocok terus.
Tuangkan adonan ini ke atas adonan biskuit, lalu oven dengan cara au bain marie [diletakkan di atas loyang yang sudah diisi air] selama 90 menit.
angkat, dinginkan di suhu kamar, hingga benar-benar dingin.
Kocok whipped cream dan gula pasir hingga kental, oleskan di atas cheese cake, lalu bekukan dalam kulkas selama 4 jam.
Keluarkan, ratakan selai blueberry di atasnya, hias sesuai selera.
potong2, sajikan.

Lumpia Semarang

I was wandering through the wet Pasar Tekka in Little India when I spotted those bamboo shoots. They were already julienne-sliced and were young too! Still soft and juicy, just nice to make Lumpia Semarang filling.

If there's one thing that I don't like about bamboo shoots is their smell. They got pungent smell which can't be fully omitted. The only thing I could do to reduce the smell is to cook them in water two or three times (change the water, of course). I'm not sure whether they still got nutrition value after that :))

The original Lumpia Semarang is more of a sweet, rather than a savory snack. The filling, and the sauce. Sometimes I'm overwhelmed by its sweetness. But that's what makes it, actually. Usually I just make saltier version of it. As much as I have a sweet tooth, I dont want things to be too sweet .

Here are some fun facts about Lumpia Semarang I just found out:

It was created by a Chinese immigrant in Semarang ( I thought so!) and was introduced as snack at GANEFO Olympics in Semarang during Presiden Sukarno's era. The word 'lumpia' was from the word 'Olimpiade'. Lumpia,olimpiade....creative, isn't it. (Khas orang endonesa yang suka plesetan :))

Lumpia Semarang (from Femina Primarasa)

200g bamboo shoots

150g prawns, shelled and finely sliced

75g chicken fillet, cooked, sliced

50g dried shrimp (ebi)

4 cloves garlic, finely sliced

8 onions, finely sliced

4 sprigs of onion springs, finely sliced

ready made popiah skin

Mix together (filling sauce):

2 tsp sesame oil

1 tbsp salty soya bean sauce

2 tbsp sweet soya sauce

1/2 tsp white ground pepper

1/2 tbsp sugar

1 tsp salt

For the sauce:mix, boil over low heat until cooked

3 crushed cloves garlic, 25 g gula jawa, 1 1/2 tsp vinegar, 1 tbsp sweet soy sauce, 1 1/2tbsp tapioca flour, and 250 ml water.

Garnish: Lokio, acar mentimun and chili padi kampong (rawit , coro endonesane)

Heat 5 tbsp oil, stir fry garlic and onions until fragrant, put in prawns. After changed color, put in chicken, dried shrimps, and the filling sauce. Cook until the bamboo shoots are done.

Put in onion springs. Remove from heat, set aside. Divide the filling into 12 parts. Put 2 tbsp of bamboo shoots filling in the popiah skin and roll. Glue with white eggs (water would do as well). Deep fry until golden brown. Serve with the sauce and garnish.

Monday, April 16, 2007


Churro is a fried dough pastry based snack originated in Spain. It is called churro due to its similarity to shape of the horns of Churro, one of the breed sheep reared in the Spanish grassland. It often sold as street snack and served as breakfast in Spain.
In my house, I call it 'reluctant' snack because I never deliberately make churros. I only make them when I got small portion of leftover choux pastry dough I'm too lazy to bake. I thought, why waste more electricity with my big-consuming-electricity oven :)), so I just grab a star tip and form the dough right in the fry pan.

Sieve icing sugar all over fried churros and a bit of cinnamon -heck yes I am a big fan of this spice-. With that you already have a sumptuous snack. Light airy fried pastry with sugar and cinnamon dusting. But if you have more time and have a stock of cooking chocolate in the fridge, melt some and just dunk the churro in it. Gosh, why do I want churros now, in the middle of the night?

The recipe, umm, I usually use my usual choux recipe. I think any choux recipe will do (too lazy to type one).

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Barbie Cake

I've been wanting to make a Barbie cake. I think it is challenging in terms of decorating techniques. I always imagine Barbie wearing the royal princess kind of gown, full of ruffles and flowers all over. Making Barbie cake indeed is an opportunity to practice my ruffles:)).

The base cake is Lapis Surabaya, 10 egg yolks for every layer. Only that I used bigger pan so the cake is thinner. For the Barbie gown is strawberry sponge cake. I made one batch of sponge cake recipe, but it turned out that the batter didn't enough to cover the pan, so I made another half of it. As the gown was quite heavy, about 2 kg,I was worried that the base cake couldn't hold the gown and sink. Luckily, it was allright.

For the butter cream, I used Wilton's recipe. I am not a big fan of butter cream actually, probably because of the taste of the shortening. Wilton's butter cream was OK, the taste of the shortening was a bit covered by a big amount of confectioner's sugar. And what I really like about Wilton's butter cream is that the cream was stiff and it is not oily.

The birhday girl, Natasha, loves pink so pink is the main color. For the gown, I used tip no 104, for the ruffles and the plain garlands. There's one type of garland using tip no 16, the rest is open star, still using tip no 16

What, you're not expecting a recipe, are you ? :))