christmas bakings – cupcakes & cookies

this is a very very belated post on my bakings for christmas. well, at least i’m doing it before 2008 🙂

first up are cookies i made for my friends. they were shortbread cookies w/ icing. the cookies were good i must say – buttery and crumbly, and sweet enough to go with the icing. because i made so many, it was quite hectic since i didnt have a food processor so i had to rub in so much butter and flour (and its winter)!

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other than trees and hearts, there were also gingerbread men and stars, but i didn’t ice those. i made like 170-something cookies for school, 100 for family&relatives and around 100 for church! they were packaged and then given out like so (see the joy on my friend’s face XD);

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recipe from BBC goodfood.com (click here). for choc flavoured shortbread, swap 1tbsp of flour for cocoa powder. the icing was just icing sugar mixed with water and food colouring, play around until you get the desired consistency.

second, CUPCAKES! they were made for my form party at school. cupcake was devil’s food chocolate cupcakes from here, and the frosting was buttercream (made from beating 100g melted white chocolate, 140g butter and 140g icing sugar together until smooth.)

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cupcake tasted good as it was soft and airy, but they didn’t rise so evenly as i wanted them to, so i sliced off the uneven tops. frosting was a tad too sweet for me. the lettering is just bad – i wasnt very patient as it was quite late when i iced them, so i just used melted white chocolate instead of making more buttercream…my cupcake decorating skills still have a long long way to go!

hope everyone had a great christmas, and happy new year to all!
(argh i have my mock exams straight after holidays :S)

December 30, 2007. cookies, cupcakes, festive, sweet. Leave a comment.

chocolate post – cheesecake & cookies

So, during my food tech lesson, i made cheescakes with different types of chocolate. it’s a coursework project…

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what they looked like before baking. too busy w/ taste testing afterwards, no pics of the finished product 😦

for 4 small ones, or one large (maybe a 17cm tin?).

100g digestives, crushed
45g butter, melted
20g sliced almonds

250g cream cheese
90g sugar
75g chocolate, melted
2 large eggs
100g sour cream
100g whipping cream

1. Preheat oven to 160 C. Mix together base ingredients and press into tin(s). Bake for 10mins and set aside (leave oven on)
2. Whip whipping cream.
3. Beat sugar and cream cheese together until light and smooth. Add chocolate and blend well.
4. Add the eggs in one at a time and cream until combined. Add sour cream and beat until smooth. Fold in whipped cream until incorporated.
6. Pour filling into tins, bake in a water bath at 160 C for 30-35 mins or until just set. Switch off oven and remove water bath, leaving the cakes in the oven with door slightly open for 10mins.
7. Remove cake from oven and cool.

You can also use fruit in the recipe, just place them on the base before pouring in the cheese filling. If using white chocolate, you can add some lemon juice to give it more flavour. I personally found that bittersweet was the best, but if you want to use fruit i think semi sweet will be better.

double chocolate cookies

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you can see the burnt edges 😦

recipe adapted from here. i didn’t use milk choc as i didn’t have any on hand, so they’re double choc instead of triple choc hehe.

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pinky is wearing an apron and oven gloves!

i must admit that i’m a complete n00b when it comes to making cookies: either they’re too hard or burnt, too cripsy or too chewy…this time it was burnt AND hard 😦 my first batch came out nearly inedible, cus i think my oven is too hot and i put huge dollops of mixture, so they spread out unevenly and the thinner bits got burnt. second batch was much much better – despite being a bit burnt around the edges, it was just chewy enough tasted good overall. the only thing i’m complaining about is that there’s too much white choc – made it too sweet. i wish my cookies would be as good as mariya’s!

December 5, 2007. cheesecakes, chocolate, cookies, sweet. 1 comment.

quiche lorraine

Ever since making the mini-versions of these at school i’ve always wanted to try making this at home. my pastry turned out to be really crumbly and fragile, so the crust sort of broke and the filling was spilling out into the flan tin, so i ended up with some filling clinging to the pastry case -_- other than that, it was delicious. i had a cold slice for lunch the next day.

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recipe from the beginner’s cookbook, by pamela gwyther.

175g plan flour + extra for dusting
pinch of salt
85g butter
2-3tbsp cold water, to mix
225g bacon rashers, chopped into small pieces
1 onion, finely chopped
3 eggs
300ml single cream (i ran out of cream and used 200ml cream & 100ml milk)

1. sift flour and salt into a bowl and rub in butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Sprinkle in the cold water and stir well using a round bladed knife, and gather into a smooth dough. Cover and put in fridge for 1-2 hrs.
2. Preheat oven to 200C. Fry the bacon in a pan until the fat runs, add the onion and cook for further 5 mins until bacon is crispy and onion is soft.
3. Sprinkle work surface w/ flour, roll out pastry into a circle 5cm larger than your flan tin ( i used a 23cm one). Fold the pastrt iver the rolling pin and lift it over the tin. Ease the pastry into the tin and press pastry into the flutes (use a small piece of dough to help).
4. Prick the base of the case and line with baking paper and baking beans (just use raw rice or macaroni) and bake on a heated baking sheet for 10-15mins. Remove the paper and beans and bake for a further 10mins until the pastry is quite dry. Reduce oven temp to 180C. Patch up any cracks in the pastry with some spare dough.
5. Beat the eggs and cream in a bowl and season.
6. Put the bacon & onion into the flan case and carefully pour in the egg mixture. Bake for 30-35 mins until set and golden brown.

December 1, 2007. pastry, savoury. 2 comments.