July 31, 2010

Mad with Macs

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KBB members have been on a hot spot in July to get an acquaintance with French Macarons on KBB 18th task. Many discussions on the mailing list scream out frustrations from many members, desperately looking for 'feet'. That brought me back to my own initial path:  first time dealing with French Macarons and yes, I was frustrated, too. First time macarons were cracked and too dense, not appealing at all. I get better though, that I made a success with next attempts, YES, I Did It! Then I dare to bake Macarons for some events, blogging or real life. Truly saying, baking Macs is a fun thing since then, that I've been through the tricky stage, now I hold the knowledge of successful macarons-making. I keep baking macarons for birthdays and Christmas on demands. I truly enjoy it. 

This is my entry for KBB#18.

Macarons with Plum Jam1-1

Pink Macarons
Sumber: Cupcakes, Cheesecakes, Cookies. The Australian Women Weekly.

3 putih telur
2 sdM gula caster
pewarna pink
200g icing sugar
120g almond meal
2 sdM icing sugar, ekstra


    • Siapkan loyang, olesi mentega tipis-tipis; alasi dengan baking paper. 
    • Kocok putih telur hingga soft peak, tambahkan gula dan pewarna, terus kocok hingga gula larut. Pindahkan adonan ke dalam mangkuk yang lebih besar. 
    • Masukkan icing sugar dan almond meal, dalam dua bagian. 


    • Sendokkan adonan ini ke dalam piping bag dengan spuit 1.5cm polos. 
    • Semprotkan ke atas loyang 36 x 4cm bulatan, dengan jarak 2cm. 
    • Ketuk-ketukkan loyang di atas meja kerja supaya macarons merata. 
    • Taburkan dengan icing sugar, biarkan selama 15 menit.


    • Panaskan oven dengan suhu 150C/130C fan-forced. 
    • Panggang macarons sekitar 20 menit. 
    • Biarkan 5 menit, lalu pindahkan ke rak pendingin.

    Macarons with Plum Jam-1

    • Rekatkan dua keping macarons dengan ganache. 
    • Taburkan sedikit icing sugar, jika dikehendaki.

    Pakai resep di atas ga berasa terlalu manis deh, apa mungkin pas bikin masih sedang hamil ya. Kali ini aku pake plum jam dan white chocolate ganache. Enak deh!

    July 28, 2010

    Rocky Road

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    I had promised my children to make rocky road to celebrate the birth of their baby sister that we will enjoy on the day she was born. And it was only two days before the labour that I made this rocky road, and I took the photo a day before the actual active labour started.


    15 July 2010 is a meaningful day. They came back from their grandmother's house as soon as we called them that their baby sister had arrived. Mum said it was such a chaos that they just grabbed their things and wanted to go home straight away! They seemed so happy to see the baby and wanted to stroke and hold her right at that moment, but of course, our midwives needed to weigh her and did an initial exam to see everything is alright with her first thing. And they were just so glad to be able to hold her eventually. They've been so good up till now, enjoying their roles of being big brother and big sister. I think I've been blessed.

    So blessed that I allowed them to enjoy big slice of rocky road that day, which put big, big smiles on their little faces. How bright the smiles like sunshines. Truly saying, chocolate makes them happy :) To them, life is no rocky road.

    Rocky Road

    Rocky Road
    by Arfi Binsted

    400g 72% dark chocolate, chopped
    250g milk chocolate, chopped
    45-50g unsalted butter
    1 cup large marshmallows, halved
    1 cup roasted and husked peanuts
    1/2 cup raisins
    1 tsp vanilla essence

    Melt the chocolates with butter on top of a double boiler. Stir and removed from the stove. Let cool for 3 minutes and drop in vanilla essence. Stir. Add in the rest of ingredients, mix well. Pour into a baking paper lined tin. Let cold, and sliced. Makes 8 large slices (10 if you can slice it thinly).

    July 22, 2010

    My Little Love Affair

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    Samantha Rose Ayu-15Jul2010

    It is a love that opens like moist Spring air,
    hanging the fallen dews at the tip of sweet morning,
    embracing the fluttering beat of your little heart, my darling
    my teeny weeny joyful love affair.

    (Samantha Rose Ayu, born on the 15 July 2010).

    Introducing our new family member :)

    July 05, 2010

    Chocolate Square

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    Who would have known if I do not know who Rick Stein is? No, I don't watch TV much, especially during the day (I'm a mother of two home-schoolers, remember?), nor that I have ever read his cookbook. Yes, I do collect Nigel Slater's cookbooks and a couple of Gordon Ramsay's, but none of Rick Stein's. That is why I am interested in taking Holly and Roz's offer to join their recent foodie event: Rick Stein Live on Stage while they're also looking for NZ Top Food Blogger. Not that I am looking forward to fetching such title, as for me it is not entirely important, but meeting other fellow NZ food bloggers on one special occasion will definitely be something worth. I have never met other fellow food bloggers in NZ than Barbara Harris of Winos and Foodies, whom now lives in Queensland, Australia and Gilli Wrightson of So So Simple. I'm just dreaming for NZ culinary people to organize such foodie blogger conference as an arena for all of food lovers to meet up on a certain regular basis, talk about food, and perhaps, food photography. There are many professional food photographers in New Zealand who can share their tips and tricks, don't you think? That'll be a superb event!

    plum butter, cheese, and fresh damson plums ab '09

    Anyway, on the occasion of the Hunt, I was thinking of something summery, like the fruit cheese that I made last Summer, using our heavy crops of homegrown Damson plums. But then, perhaps fruit cheese is not quite an NZ culture, though Kiwis love to pair wine with cheese. Fruit cheese is more English in a way, so I decided to cook/bake something close to Kiwi's traditional sweet tooth treats. Furthermore, as I don't drink wine or other alcohol, I cannot cover such report to you to describe the best words of full enjoyment.

    Richard's ab2010

    So, I then decided to bake Richard Till's Chocolate Square from his latest cookbook "Makes It Easy". I love Richard and certainly love his humble cooking and eccentric way of entertaining us through his cooking program. He's alike Nigel Slater, very homey and simple. I fell in love with his words about this chocolate square "I think my mother would have liked it for two reasons-because it is very quick to make and because it made me so happy." You know what? It does make my children happy too!

    When I read the recipe, I knew it is going to be really sweet for me, especially I have to use gluten-free flour to substitute the wheat flour, although Richard wrote that it wouldn't work. With substitution, I tend to increase the use of gluten-free flour (with or without almond meal) to the use of regular flour in the recipe (in this case, I use 1 1/2 cups gluten-free flour and 2 Tbs potato starch), and not to use any leavening agent. In the gluten-free baking mix package that I use, there has already had leavening agent which I supposedly is good enough. Too much leavening agent will make the baking goods too thin in texture somehow. Another alternative, I'd use egg yolk or whole egg to give a 'body' on baked goods such as this chocolate square. 

    Richard's-2 by ab2010

    I have to reduce the amount of sugar to 80g only and increase the use of cocoa to 1/4 cup. I use Valrhona cocoa powder because I like its intense luscious dark flavour which can balance the sweetness of sugar.  I am not too fancy with too sweet baked goods, like those in some cafes I sometimes go to. Brownies should taste more chocolaty rather than sugary, otherwise a $3 slice is sadly a waste of money and a danger warning to teeth care.

    This is the result of chocolate square gluten-free version.

    Richard's Mum's Chocolate Square by ab2010

    It is a thin slice, alright. So thin that you almost like eating flatten Afghan biscuits, without walnut pieces. Cornflakes give crunchy impact on the sweetness of sugar and dark flavour of cocoa. With thin glaze of chocolate icing and a hint of vanilla essence, it is a complete treat for a sweet tooth. Although I have reduced the amount of icing sugar, this thin slice still tastes so sweet, especially with the addition of chocolate icing. It is a perfect slice for lunch boxes, an afternoon treat after muddy Saturday sport day, and surely is a winner amongst kids and kids-at-heart adults!