January 30, 2010

KBB Going Muddy

What will mud cake be when it is combined with chocolate biscuit and chocolate ganache? Sensational, perhaps. Maybe luxury. Everything is dark and delicious. Luscious. Prestigious.

KBB this month is throwing in delicious muddy biscuit sandwiches into cookie jars. Mud Cake Cookie Sandwiches, to be quite exact. Here is the recipe.

Mud Cake Cookie Sandwiches-3

Mud Cake Cookie Sandwiches
Source: The Australian Women's Weekly: cupcakes, cheesecake, cookies. ACP Magazine Ltd. 2008

Makes 24


250g butter, softened
330g firmly packed brown sugar
2 eggs
450g plain flour
75g self-raising flour
50g cocoa powder
2 Tbs cocoa powder, extra


Chocolate Mud Cake
150g butter, chopped
100g dark eating chocolate, chopped coarsely
220g caster sugar
125ml water
2 Tbs coffee liqueur
150g plain flour
2 Tbs cocoa powder
2 egg yolks

Combine butter, chocolate, sugar, the water and liqueur in small saucepan. Stir over low heat until smooth. Place mixture in medium bowl; cool 10 minutes. Whisk in sifted flour and cocoa, then egg yolks. Bake about 25 minutes. Cool cakes in pans. Using 6.5cm round cutter, cut 12 rounds from each cake.


Chocolate Ganache
80ml cream
200g dark eating chocolate, chopped coarsely

Bring cream to a boil in small saucepan; remove from heat. Add chocolate; stir until smooth. Refrigerate until spreadable.


  1. Preheat oven to 170C/150C fan-forced. Grease two 20cm x 30cm lamington pans; line with a strip of baking paper, extending paper 2cm above edges of pans.
  2. Make chocolate mud cake.
  3. Make chocolate ganache.
  4. Beat butter, sugar and eggs in small bowl with electric mixer until combined. Transfer mixture to large bowl; stir in sifted flours and cocoa, in two batches. Knead dough on floured surface until smooth; divide in half, roll each portion between sheets of baking paper until 5mm thick. Cover; refrigerate 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 180C/160C fan-forced. Grease oven trays; line with baking paper.
  6. Using 6.5cm round cutter, cut 48 rounds from dough. Place about 3cm apart on oven trays. Bake about 12 minutes. Cool on wire racks.
  7. Spread ganache onto underside of cookies; sandwich a mud cake round between two cookies.
  8. Using heart template, dust cookies with extra cocoa.

Mud Cake Cookie Sandwiches

Review in Bahasa Indonesia

Mud Cake Cookie Sandwiches-2

  • Untuk pembuatan mud cake ga masalah. Cuma kok kayaknya terlalu sedikit untuk 2 loyang ukuran 30cm? Jadinya tipis banget. Adonannya mirip2 brownies, jadi gampang rapuh dan retak ketika dipotong pake cutter. Mungkin pemanggangan perlu agak basah, diangkat supaya lebih gampang dan lebih nyoklat jadinya. Punyaku sih ga begitu kering, cuma atasnya dah mirip brownies. Mungkin juga pengaruh gula. 

  • Ngomong2 soal gula, aku kurangi jumlah gula untuk mud cake jadi 220g saja, untuk biskuitnya 150g saja. Itupun ketika jadi masih manis menurutku, tapi ini relatif ya. Kalo soal kukis coklat, aku lebih suka yang nyoklat, ga terlalu manis, tp lebih kental coklatnya. Kalo terlalu manis rasa coklatnya malah tertutup oleh rasa gula. Nah terus di mud cake aku ga pake coffee liqueur tapi pake kopi aja dua sendok, dimasak bareng.

  • Nah ketika menggunakan cutter, 8 potongan pertama, aku pake pastry cutter (ga punya cutter bulat polos) ukuran 6cm, yang paling mendekati, soalnya yg lain2 lebih kecil dan lebih besar dari ukuran tsb. Begitu aku potong, kok gede amat ya? Ga manis kelihatannya utk ukuran penyajian. Jadi aku cobain pake cutter jadi2an (dari pipa polos) ukuran 5cm, malah lebih sesuai kelihatannya. Jadi dari mud cake aku cuma potong 4 bulatan ukuran 6cm, dan yg selebihnya ukuran 5cm.

  • Soal rasa jangan ditanya. Utk ganache aku pake Whittaker's 72% dark chocolate. Diberi sedikit esens caramel di campuran krim dan coklat, wanginya lumayan wangi karamel. Karena aku ga bisa makan terlalu banyak, jadi aku gigit sedikit. Biskuitnya renyah banget (ini karena aku ga pake tangan ngadoninnya, mengangkat biskuit dari cetakan pun pake spatula), ditimpali dengan mud cake yg nyoklat dan ganache yang nyoklat banget, wiiiiiiihhh buat pencinta coklat jangan ketinggalan deeeeeeeh!! Kalo ga inget si calon bebih di perut nih pengen banget tuh coklat aku embat ampe ke akar2nya hihihihi...

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    January 20, 2010

    Not So Macarons

    I am so curious to know that someone can make macarons without almond powder. What's it like, I wonder? And so, I follow the recipe and bake them.

    The recipe does not call to whip your egg whites until its peak, but just mix all the ingredients together until thicken. It is just like making royal icing for your Christmas fruit cake, unless this one is baked. Yeah, baked royal icing.

    Rosewater Macaron

    They do have feet once they are baked at a suggested oven temperature (though I have to adjust it to 130C for my oven), are as sweet as macarons are, but they tend much flatter in appearance, too crisp without any 'flesh' the original macarons will be. They do not have the moistness as the result of the combination of almond powder, sugars, and egg whites the original French macarons will have. Once you bite, you just find a sandwich of meringues rather than the softness and sweetness of macarons. I do think the use of almond powder is the real key to make a macaron as it is.

    However, for some reason, they probably cost much cheaper in a country where almond powder is so poorly available. It is a clever idea, anyway, in one way.

    I made two batches of these meringue macarons. One batch is plain and sandwiched with rosewater and rose petals cream Chantilly.


    And the other batch is coffee meringue macarons, sandwiched with cappuccino chocolate. I found out that oval shape of macarons is quite pretty. I just spoon them with the tip of soup spoon.


    Here is the recipe.

    by Yeni Ismayani

    100g egg whites
    400g icing sugar
    2 Tbs cornflour
    chocolate paste, optional

    Whip all the ingredients until thicken. Divide the batter, if you use colouring or paste. Spoon into piping bag and pipe blobs on lightly greased baking trays (I stick with my good baking paper). Let rest for 10 minutes or until the blobs are flattened. Bake in a preheated oven to 170C for 10 minutes. Open the oven for 5 minutes, close again and turn the temperature down to 120C (I just use 130C from the start until all the batter is used) until cooked and dry. Remove from the oven, cool. Peel off of the trays and keep in an airtight-container. Use as required.

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    January 12, 2010

    NCC Banana Week: Banana Ice Cream

    Banana seems to be our year-round popular fruit in the household. My children just nibble them at any time of the day, mostly in between meals. When they are keen, they can whiz bananas with plain Greek yogurt and there they would tuck in their smoothies for the afternoon.

    Pity we cannot grow bananas in our South Auckland home garden, otherwise it would nice to harvest our own homegrown bananas, wouldn't it? I bet they'll taste much nicer, especially when they are made into ice cream.

    I am not really an ice cream eater. I am allergic to milk products, although I am okay with soft cheeses. I can eat sorbet which mostly is fruit based, for they are not made from milk products. I make ice cream purposely to treat my children and also it is a way for them to learn how to make ice cream from scratch. Therefore, I can control the amount of sugar and the freshness of ingredients possibly used. They also can take benefits from it. I really want them to be independent in the kitchen in the time they are grown up, so they can always carry the positive attitude towards good food throughout their lives. I will be horrified to see them if they would choose to go the a takeaways or drive through outlets to seek food rather than cook it themselves. I do the best I can to introduce and involve them in the kitchen as early as possible. Truly saying is, being in the kitchen is their favourite fun tasks so far in our home-schooling projects.

    This is my entry for NCC Banana Week, a one-off event for Natural Cooking Club members. This ice cream is very easy to do with children. I make chocolate chip biscuits and butterscotch sauce as a companion to the ice cream, or to sandwich the ice cream whenever they like. But they stick on ice cream cone, which I cannot make myself. They just eat the biscuits for afternoon tea, and never touch the butterscotch sauce. My beloved husband does!

    Banana Ice Cream

    Banana Ice Cream
    by Arfi Binsted

    4 large, very ripe bananas, peeled
    150-220g white sugar
    juice of one lemon
    400ml fresh cream
    300ml heavy cream
    200ml full-cream milk

    Chopped bananas and put them in a blender or food processor with sugar and lemon juice. Whiz until smooth. Pour in the creams and milk. Whiz again until smooth. Pour on to a shallow freezer tin, cover and freeze for an hour, or until the ice has been formed around the edges. Put the mixture into the blender again, and whiz (or simply fork the iced edges to mingle with the softer one in the middle, mix well). Freeze for another hour, and then repeat. Freeze once more, whiz again and this time, pour it into the freezer container. Serving when required.

    125g unsalted butter, softened
    50g caster sugar
    150-200g brown sugar
    225g plain flour, sifted
    1 tsp baking powder, sifted
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    150g dark chocolate chips
    1 egg

    Preheat the oven to 170C. Grease or line baking sheets. Beat butter and sugars until pale and fluffy. Add in vanilla extract and egg, beat again until well mixed and smooth. Fold in sifted plain flour and baking powder. Mix well. Add in chocolate chips. Roll into marble sized balls, flatten it carefully. Bake for 12-15 minutes until cooked and golden brown. Makes 18-24.

    Butterscotch Sauce
    50g unsalted butter
    300g brown sugar
    125ml fresh cream
    a pinch of salt

    Put all the ingredients in a heavy pot. Stir until butter is melted and sugar is dissolved. Let it boil, then simmer until the sauce is thicken.

    To assemble:
    Prepare one sheet of biscuit, scoop the ice cream on top. Drizzle with butterscotch sauce and sprinkle with chocolate hails, and top with another sheet of biscuit. Just use your imagination, I suppose. Nothing can go wrong, really :) Enjoy!

    Have a great day!

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    January 09, 2010

    Back Log: Chocolate Chiffon Cake

    Chocolate Chiffon Cake

    Perhaps, you may feel something soft and delicate when you start putting a bite of chiffon cake in between your palate and your tongue, beginning to melt in your curious spittle, like a drop of wet cloud heavy with rain. Perhaps, the flavour is so clear yet not too sweet, just to be right, lightly indulging your taste buds. Things that can be expected from such a cake. Like a queen, beautiful, airy, and delicate.

    There is always such a satisfaction when you see the batter rises into its pinnacle, high and proud, thrusts for heaven. Yet, there is  a deep condolences when it is stuck at the bottom of the pan and stays short and solid. Even when a finger touches, it does not spring back.

    I don't bake a lot of chiffon cakes from the first time I started baking. Not that I do not dare, but baking a chiffon cake needs a whole concentration and a feeling for it. You cannot miss one bit of ingredients or whisk the egg whites way too dry to avoid failure. I do not want to bake a chiffon cake because I want to try to impress someone or a group of friends or even myself. But, like I said, I have to feel for it. Feel for the needs of it.

    Actually, I feel the need of chocolate. Not too rich and dark, as to conquer my late afternoon divine to a sudden burst, but it is quite light that can lift my spirit up, slowly. And so I chose to bake a chocolate chiffon cake. Not too sure if it's a basic, but somehow it is an old recipe from my mother's old recipe compilation. I said it is AGED, as she had collected her favourite recipes since I was at my high school. And it was years and years ago.

    Everything aging is antique, don't you think? And they usually are made to inspire us today. So, I baked this cake sometime last year, when I had that feeling. Oh yes, it rose high and proud.

    Chocolate Chiffon Cake

    The cake is originally iced with cream cheese mixed with roasted cashew nuts, but I just minimized it with only a drizzle of chocolate fudge sauce or white chocolate icing with shaved white chocolate, which makes it pure Chocolate Chiffon Cake.

    Chiffon Cake with Cream Cheese Icing
    Source: 16 Resep Cake dan Kue Kering Untuk Lebaran. Bonus Femina 8-14 Februari 1996

    60g cocoa powder
    120g coffee instant powder
    125ml warm water
    125ml vegetable oil (I use rice bran oil)
    260g plain flour, sifted
    2 tsp vanilla powder (I use 1 tsp vanilla bean paste)
    1 tsp salt
    1 1/2 tsp baking soda
    7 egg yolks
    7 + 2 egg whites
    375g caster sugar (I use 250g only)
    1/2 tsp cream of tartar (I omit this)

    First of all, you need to preheat the oven to 150C (Indonesian recipe usually does not mention this oven temperature at a first thing to do like most Western recipes do, so you need to skim the whole recipe to figure it out. Sometimes, they just state 'slow, moderate, or hot' oven, instead of mentioning the degrees).

    1. Combine cocoa powder, coffee, oil and warm water, mix well. Set aside. (I add vanilla bean paste in this mixture).
    2. Combine plain flour, vanilla, salt and baking soda. Set aside.
    3. Beat egg yolks and half of the sugar until fluffy. Add in chocolate mix. Mix well, set aside.
    4. Fold in plain flour mixture, a little at a time, mix well.
    5. Whisk the egg whites in a dry (and clean) bowl until foamy. Add in cream of tartar. Keep whisking while adding the remaining sugar in a little at a time, until the sugar dissolved.
    6. Fold whisked egg whites into the flour mixture, mix well.
    7. Pour (or spoon) the batter into a greased (with oil) 19cm chiffon cake tin. (I heard a myth about not to grease or flour chiffon cake tin, but I did both. I use rice flour to coat the greased tin--the result makes crusty layer of skin and dry, not sticky).
    8. Bake in a preheated oven to 150C for 40 minutes to rise and cooked. Remove and cool.
    Some people say to flip your chiffon tin bottom-up as soon as you removed the cake from the oven, to avoid the cake falls back. But I did not do it, and the cake stays high as you've seen on the photos.

    3 egg yolks
    175g caster sugar
    300g cream cheese
    75g unsalted butter
    1 1/2 tsp vanilla powder
    150g roasted cashew nuts

    1. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water until pale and fluffy. The sugar will be 'cooked'. Remove and keep whisking until it cools down.
    2. Beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until smooth.
    3. Pour in the egg mixture into the cheese mixture, mix well.
    4. Cut the cake in three equal layers. Spread the icing on each layer, top with another layer, and do the same to the remaining layers.
    5. Ice the cake with the remaining icing, decorate with roasted cashew nuts.
    Makes 18


    Resep Asli dalam Bahasa Indonesia

    Chocolate Chiffon Cake iced with White Chocolate

    Cake Sifon Lapis Keju Krim
    Sumber: 16 Resep Cake dan Kue Kering Untuk Lebaran. Bonus Femina 8-14 Februari 1996

    60g cokelat bubuk
    120g kopi bubuk instan
    125ml air hangat
    125ml minyak sayur
    260g tepung terigu, ayak
    2 sdt vanili bubuk
    1 sdt soda kue
    7 btr telur ayam, pisahkan putih dan kuningnya
    375g gula pasir halus
    2 putih telur
    1/2 sdt cream of tartar

    1. Campur cokelat bubuk dan kopi bubuk, minyak dan air hangat, aduk rata. Sisihkan.
    2. Campur tepung terigu, vanili, garam dan soda kue. Sisihkan.
    3. Kocok kuning telur dan 1/2 bagian gula sampai lembut. Tambahkan campuran cokelat, aduk rata.
    4. Masukkan campuran tepung terigu sedikit demi sedikit sambil aduk rata.
    5. Kocok putih telur dalam wadah kering sampai berbusa. Tambahkan cream of tartar. Kocok hingga putih telur kaku sambil tambahkan sisa gula sedikit demi sedikit dan kocok hingga gula larut.
    6. Masukkan putih telur kocok ke dalam adonan tepung terigu, aduk rata.
    7. Masukkan adonan ke dalam loyang keik sifon bergaris tengah 19cm yang beroles minyak.
    8. Panggang dalam oven panas bersuhu 150C selama 40 menit sampai mengembang dan matang. Angkat dan dinginkan.


    3 btr kuning telur
    175g gula pasir
    300g keju krim
    75g mentega tawar
    1 1/2 sdt vanili bubuk
    150g kacang mete panggang

    1. Kocok kuning telur dan gula dalam mangkuk tahan panas. Taruh di dalam panci berisi air yang dijerangkan di atas api. Kocok sampai kental dan naik hingga gula larut dan matang. Angkat, kocok terus hingga adonan dingin.
    2. Kocok keju krim, mentega dan vanili sampai lembut.
    3. Masukkan adonan telur ke dalam adonan keju sambil kocok rata.
    4. Masukkan kacang mete cincang, aduk rata,
    5. Belah cake membujur menjadi 3 bagian. Olesi masing-masing dengan bahan olesan, susun kembali.
    6. Oleskan sisa bahan olesan ke seluruh permukaan kue, hiasi dengan kacang mete panggang.
    Untuk 18 potong

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    January 03, 2010

    Christmas and Gingerbread Train

    Towards the end of 2009, I usually am busy with baking for Christmas. Although we are Muslims, we always contribute to our family's Christmas lunch. For Christmas is a get together and a family reunion, I always am looking forward to it. I miss my own family back home, so I am making the most of occasions like Christmas to be amongst the loved ones.


    My job was to bake macarons my sis-in-law had ordered, and also cooked new potatoes from our garden to supply 18 hungry tummies that day. We had a BIG healthy lunch. Bread-and-alcohol-free lunch had been so filling with assorted vegetables, roast lamb and lovely seasoned roast succulent chicken. We had to have a break for a game before we filled our plates with desserts and after lunch sweets.

    kayaking on Christmas Day

    Then, we went down to the beach to watch the children kayaking with their uncle and daddy. After all those lovely sweets, they have to burn their calorie into positive energy, I suppose. The important thing is that they enjoyed their Christmas day.

    My baking job did not stop right there, as I still have a birthday be coming up. My oldest son, Ben had asked me to bake gingerbread train for his birthday. Right, I browsed some wonderful photos over the internet and found that the one of Family Fun Gingerbread Train was the right one for Ben and Sarah's size. So, we were busily baking for a day. The children cut the templates, made the dough, the templates over the dough, and baked them. Although in the end I had to finish baking them myself, at least they knew where they had started.

    Ben's 7th Birthday

    Ben did not want to have a sugarpasted birthday cake because no matter how pretty it is, he and Sarah cannot eat it. I don't allow them to eat too much sugar, for their own sake. Not wanting to have children with diabetes or over weight problems, I believe I do the right thing. (They don't even eat macarons, you see. They prefer to eat sweeten rice crackers rather than chocolate fish or jelly beans). So, he knows that, and he left it up to me with a message 'not too sweet, Mum. Not good for my teeth.' Right.

    Just a day before the day, I baked Strawberry Layer Cake, adapted from Mbak Ine Elkaje recipe. As we, until today, are picking our own strawberries from our garden, they were plenty to use for the cake. The night before the day, I iced it with whipped cream and cream cheese, sweetened with honey and decorated with blackberries, strawberries, chocolate, and mint leaves (which I picked just before serving). He was happy, and everyone was enjoying the cake. I was happy because the cake was so moist and spongy. Although it was kept in the fridge for overnight, it did not go hard. It was just wonderful.

    Children with their Chocolate Biscuits creations

    We also baked chocolate biscuits which later then dipped in dark chocolate and decorated with 100s and 1000s, silver cachous, and colourful chocolate hails. I did not use much sugar in the biscuit as I knew the sprinkles will give more than the sugar they need for them. The dark chocolate was 72%, so it did not contribute much sugar as well.

    Thomas the gingerbread train in the making

    And so, the gingerbread train was decorated in between after lunch tea/coffee before we went through with desserts. It was pretty hard to start with the engine first thing, so I and Sue Dalbeth had helped them to hold the pieces until the royal icing went harden. I used the very fresh egg whites when making royal icing for children. Given that we are provided with free-range farm eggs, I suppose it can guarantee that one day old eggs would supply good egg whites. Don't you think?

    Thomas the gingerbread train

    So, here is the final Thomas the Gingerbread Train for my birthday young man. Alessandra, to answer your question, I posted this for you. Thanks so much for your attention and concern. I am well and hopefully the baby bun is, too (for it had been a busy end of December!). Now, I can have a little rest until next baking task again for KBB #15!

    Have a great holiday!

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    DMBLGIT December 2009 Winners

    Happy New Year 2010! I hope you had had a great Christmas and New Year celebrations 2009, and are ready to jump in 2010 with lots of positive energy. Keep smiling and be happy!

    To start the good news early this year, we have some great quality of photos received on DMBLGIT December 2009 edition. Superb lighting, lovely composition, and heaps of potentially 'licking-the-screen' effects. You are able to view the gallery here.

    I thank you the judges for your time and thank you to all of the participants whom had sent out your beautiful photos to make this event run. Thank you, Andrew for the opportunity to be a host again.

    Without further ado, here are the winners!

    Overall Winners
    These overall winning photos achieved the highest scores from all three categories (edibility, originality, and aesthetics)

    1st Place:
    Scarlet Poached Pears by Liz of Zested, taken with Canon 5D Mark II.

    (great high key lighting; lovely tone; looks sinful with the sauce spilling over the edge)

    2nd Place:
      Pomegranate Molasses by Kevin of Closet Cooking, taken with Canon 7D.

    (great lighting, the folds forming at the bottom of the glass, the jewel-like colour is alluring, stunning)

    3rd Place:
      Pot Pies in Red Pots by Sala Kannan of Veggie Belly, taken with Canon Rebel XTi  .

    (great composition, lighting is superb, great tone of green, red, and yellow)

    Edibility, Originality, and Aesthetics Category

    These are the winning photos from each category: 
    edibility, originality, and aesthetics.

    Edibility Winner

    We have a tie!
    Fruit and Nut Cake by Sunita of Sunita's World, taken with Nikon D40.

    (feels like want to snatch it from the screen, appealing colour of red cherries, 
    a reason to lick the screen)

    Tiramisu Cheesecake by Jasenka of Sweet Corner, taken with Canon EOS D450.

    (love the dusty plate and a simplicity of the dessert, just cream and chocolate, the fork is adding a note of aesthetics of presentation)

    Originality Winner

    Rose Apples by Kris of Bake in Paris, taken with Canon EOS 1000D.

    (nice compositionred colour of the rose apples are appealing,
     the water gives effect of freshness, nice addition tone of green)

    Aesthetics Winner

    We have a tie!

    Tekwan by Vania of Our Family Favourite Recipes, Taken with Canon 50D.

    (soft tone, lovely presentation)

    Vanilla Milk Pannacotta, Rosehip Tea, Peach and Pistachio by Cathy of aficionado, taken with Canon 450D, 50mm 1.2 lens

    (we love the simplicity of the setting, 
    makes me want to drag the chair, sit down and dig in)

    Host's Award
    I also have a privilege to choose a photo that deserves the mention.

    Prawns Carpaccio with Wild Salmon Roe by Nuria of Spanish Recipes, taken with Nikon D40.

    I love the lights bouncing on the roe, the clearness shape of roe makes it appealing to gobble down right now with a good drink.

    Congratulations to all the winners. Please proudly wear your badges on your blog. Next event will be hosted by David Barzelay of Eatfoo.

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