Monday, February 26, 2007

Because I Am Strange That Way

Conversation at half past eleven this evening.

scubabunny says:
sorry i'm back
Yummy says:
where'd you run to
scubabunny says:
baked a cake
Yummy says:
at this time???
scubabunny says:
well yeah

Red Velvet Cake
Red Velvet Cake That Is Not Red

Heehee. I've been meaning to try to bake a red velvet cake, ever since I saw it pop up on a couple of food blogs recently. One of the descriptions that I read was that it was supposed to have a tinge of chocolate taste, but not enough to make it an actual chocolate cake. Got the necessary ingredients and decided tonight that I might as well just do it. Searched online for a couple of recipes and tweaked them a bit.

The batter was surprisingly thick and very dense, and I almost regretted omitting the red food colouring from the recipe. I guess I didn't want to buy a bottle of food colouring and just use it once. So I ended up with a red velvet cake that was not red. *grin*

My sister helped with making the cream cheese frosting and she did a wonderful job of it. I don't think I've ever seen cream cheese frosting (or any frosting for that matter) look so smooth! There were hardly any lumps! *amazed* I usually give up once I get a fairly smooth frosting, and excuse myself by saying that the lumps of icing sugar will just give people happy surprises when they bite into it. Lol.

Cream Cheese Frosting
Smoothest Cream Cheese Frosting In The World

Red Velvet Cake That Is Not Red

For the cake:
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour

For the frosting:
1/2 cup butter
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
4 cups confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius.
2. In a bowl, cream the butter, sugar, eggs and cocoa powder.
3. Add the salt, vinegar and baking soda to the buttermilk and stir.
4. Add buttermilk mixture to creamed butter mixture and mix.
5. Slowly add flour to the mixture and mix well.
6. Pour batter into greased pan and bake for 30 minutes.
7. While the cake is baking, mix butter and cream cheese well. Add the vanilla extract and confectioners' sugar and mix well until there are no lumps.
8. Wait till cake is cooled before frosting the cake.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Food, Glorious, Food!

My sister made mac and cheese today for brunch. Yummy. Mac and cheese. *slurp* Unfortunately I had to rush off for class, and only managed to get a small slice. It was tasty, but somehow the cheese was a tad grainy. We only found out later that it was probably because the temperature in the oven got too hot and made the cheese separate. We also suspect that it could be because we used a low fat milk.

We'll watch the temperature more closely the next time we try it, but I'm also tempted to throw in some mozarella cheese so that it'll all nice and "elastic" when you pull it up.

Mac and Cheese
Cheesy goodness

Mac and Cheese
Ingredients and Instructions:

1. Cook 226g of macaroni until al dente, drain and rinse with cold water.
2. Fry 3 tbs flour in 3tbs butter until mix becomes blonde colour.
3. Add 1tbs dry mustard + 1/2 tbs paprika + 1/2 cup chopped onions + 1 bay leaf + 1 tsp salt to form a paste.
4. Slowly whisk in 3 cups of milk and simmer for about 10 mins whisking all the time.
5. Add a tbs of sauce to a beaten egg, then add egg mix back to sauce.
6. Take sauce off the heat and slowly add in 340g of cheese. Once sauce mix is ready, add the macaroni. Put into 350dF / 176dC oven for 30mins to bake.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Cornflake Cookies!

I got this really simple recipe for cornflake cookies from Trina couple of days ago. The first time I remember eating cornflake cookies was some time ago, when I was visiting one of my Malay friends during Hari Raya (no, it wasn't the HTB). I've always wanted to try making them, but have never been very successful at locating a recipe. My friend's mom refused to share her recipe (sheesh!) and online websites didn't really seem to have anything that was similar to what I wanted to make.

Anyway, with this recipe in hand and me being back home early today, I decided to try it out so that the HTB can have some before his dental surgery tomorrow morning. As with all other yummy sinful recipes, once you know how much sugar etc goes into the mix, you don't really want to eat it anymore. Lol.

It's fairly easy, with only 4 ingredients, but rather tedious. Actually, I find making any types of cookies a hassle because you can't bake it all at one shot. Well, you could if you had a big enough oven and enough baking sheets, but my oven is a teeny tiny one, so I just have to keep baking and cooling and baking and cooling. Ick.

Cornflake Cookies
All ready and packed up

It's a very tasty cornflake cookie, but a tad too sweet for my liking. I'm not sure if it was because the recipe is too sweet, or whether my conversion from grams to tablespoons went wrong down the line. Or perhaps it's just my taste buds (I usually prefer baking stuff that doesn't have too much sugar so that my dad can try it. This is definitely too sweet for him.) I'll type out the original recipe here anyway. I didn't use any walnuts at all, I just replaced the amount of walnuts needed with more cornflakes. *grin*

Cornflake Cookies

125 gm butter
250 gm conflakes (nestle)
80 gm sugar
50 gm honey
80 gm walnuts (wash, dry and chop)

1. Melt sugar & honey in butter
2. Add cornflakes and walnuts in mixture
3. Bake for about 5-7 mins, +/-175 degree until golden and yummy


I baked mine a little longer because I baked them in larger (muffin) cups than those normally used for baking these cornflake cookies. You've got to wait till they cool down 100% before packing so that they harden up somewhat and don't fall apart while handling.

Friday, February 9, 2007

Ridiculously Easy Dish

I have just discovered how ridiculously easy it is to make a tasty couscous dish, in less than 5 minutes! It's so easy that I don't think it counts as cooking! It's my new favourite instant-dish-to-make.

Ridiculously Easy Couscous

1/2 cup chicken broth
2 sundried tomatoes (in oil)
1 tablespoon of oil from the sundried tomatoes
1/2 cup couscous

1. Pour the 1/2 cup of chicken broth in a microwave proof bowl. Chop up the sun dried tomatoes to small bits and throw them in the chicken broth together with 1 tablespoon of the oil.
2. Nuke chicken broth mixture for 2 minutes on high in the microwave oven till chicken broth is steaming hot.
3. Add in couscous, mix and cover for 2 minutes till light and fluffy.
4. Enjoy!