27 November 2014

Green tea Crêpe Cake

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Woah. I'm doing back-to-back blog posting. I never do this, but I made this crepe cake for friends-giving and wanted to just shout it out on the blogosphere :P. It's just like the ones you find in Lady M bakery (NYC) but obviously 100x less refined and 100x less pretty :( . Have I ever mentioned that I used to work at a boba shop that also sold crepes and hookah. Pretty strange combo, but I guess it worked out so well that it expanded all over LA and in Hong Kong! I was their very first employee AND I came up with the crepe recipe. At least I know, if med school doesn't work out, I'll be a crepe maker :P

I also made a christmas tree stencil for the cake, but I forgot to take a picture of it ughh. This took a whole day and a half to make, but I plopped my computer right next to the stove and made crepes and watched "The Mindy Project" for 2 hours. Yea... I now have carpel tunnel from twirling my frying pan and batter all over my keyboard. I really need to invest in a keyboard cover because when I type I hear a lot of crunching... too much snacking while studying (oops)



Green tea Crêpe Cake

makes one 8" cake

Crêpes
1.5 cups flour
1.5 cups milk
1 cup water
4 eggs
6 tbsp butter, melted
5 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp matcha powder
2 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt

Pastry Creme Filling
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
1.5 cup milk
1/2 tsp vanilla

1.5 cups heavy cream
3 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp matcha

  1. Filling: In a medium pot, add yolks, flour, sugar, milk and vanilla. Whisk together and heat over medium fire. Keep whisking until it is pretty thick...probably about 5 mins. Take off heat and let it cool. Whip the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Whip in the sugar and matcha powder until medium-stiff peaks.  Fold into the cooled down custard and keep in the fridge until ready to assemble.
  2. Crepes: In a blender, add all the ingredients. Pulse for 15-20 seconds. Refrigerate it for at least an hour to overnight. This helps to get rid of the bubbles so that it is less likely to tear while making them
  3. In an flat 8" non-stick frying pan, heat on medium and melt about 1/2 tbsp of butter. Work with less than 1/3 cup (between 1/4-1/3 cup) of the batter and pour into your frying pan. Immediate tilt the batter to cover the bottom of the pan
  4. Wait until the bottom is slightly brown (about 2-3mins), flip with your hands. I found this a lot easier than trying to use a spatula. Heat the other side for 1 min
  5. Lay over wax paper and continue with the rest of the batter. I didn't stack them up because they can steam and make the other crepes soggy. I spread them out and would stack them when they cooled down.
  6. Assembly: In a 9 or 10" freeform cake pan, wrap the bottom tin with plastic wrap. Lay a crepe on the bottom (your largest and prettiest one). Spread thin layer of filling and stack with another crepe. I added way too much creme and it kind of oozed everywhere. Make it as high as you like (but keep some filling left over to spread the top)! I think I stacked 20 crepes.
  7. Lay your last one over and let it set in the fridge with plastic wrap on top for at least 2 hours. This will stiffen the cake up some so the layers don't slide everywhere
  8. Get a pretty plate and invert the cake onto the plate. Cover the top with the leftover creme and dust with matcha or powdered sugar



26 November 2014

Apple Pie Biscuits

I can't believe it's been a month since I last blogged. :O I've been too caught up at school. We're studying Neurology and literally my brain hates learning about the brain. Is that too meta? lol. This is going to be a quick post, because I'm on a cooking frenzy to get ready for Friendsgiving with all my stranded Californian buddies. I hope it turns out well so I can share the recipe with you guys! Fingers crossed!

For now, I leave you with a recipe you could make with your eyes closed! Apple Pie Biscuits! And yes, the picture below is my bf still in his scrubs from a long shift at the hospital (don't worry, they're clean). Even if he's dead tired, I still need a prop holder/hand model haha. He thinks I need to give him more credit on the blog. *eyes trying so hard not to roll* :P



Apple Pie Biscuits

adapted from Joythebaker
makes 12 biscuits

Apple Filling
1-2 fuji apples, cored and sliced v thin
2 tbsp unsalted buter, cubed + cold
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp packed brown sugar

Biscuit
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup cold unsalted butter, in small cubes
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp white sugar
3/4-1 cup cold butter milk

Topping
1 large egg beaten
2 tbsp raw sugar (demerara sugar)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt

  1. Preheat oven to 425F for 10 mins (rotate 1/2 way)
  2. Filling: In a small pot, melt the butter and stir in cinnamon and sugar. Add the apples and cook until the apples become a little limp and the sauce has thickened. Set aside to cool
  3. In a food processor (or by hand), stir all the dry ingredients (flour, salt, white sugar). Pulse the butter in until the dough resembles small peas. Add buttermilk gradually until moistened and holds together (start with 2/3 cup and add more if necessary)
  4. Roll gently and pat dough into a rectangle 8x10", a little less than 1/2 inch thick. Arrange the cooled apples into a 1-2 layer over half of the rolled dough. Fold the bare half of the dough over the apples and press the edges to seal and pat in the edges.
  5. Use a sharp knife and slice the dough into 9-12 squares. Carefully transfer biscuits to a lined baking tray using a flat spatula
  6. In a small bowl, whisk topping (sugar, cinnamon, salt). Brush tops of biscuit with a beaten egg and sprinkle the topping generously over them
  7. Bake for 12-14 mins until the biscuits are risen and golden brown

31 October 2014

Pumpkin Maple Cheesecake

Happy Halloween! Today, I feel like I have to rant (when do I not?). I came to school dressed like Wednesday Addams (yea I still dress up >.<), with stripy socks, collared shirt buttoned to my neck and braided pigtails. I thought I was dead on with the costume, but I have had 2 people in my class think I was Britney Spears. Yes, the Britney Spears in her school girl outfit. I mean... my dress up is SUPER conservative. I'm choking in my buttoned collar and have absolutely no skin exposed! Other than that, I've been told I look like a Japanese schoolgirl. Ungh...

On a brighter note, this pumpkin cheesecake was such a hit! It has a subtle spicy-ness and warmth with a definite pumpkin note. This is a cheesecake I need to make again! 



Pumpkin Maple Cheesecake

adapted from allrecipes.com (makes a 5" cake)
*double ingredients for 9" except use 3 eggs not 4

Crust
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1.5 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp powdered ginger
2 tbsp butter, melted

Cheesecake
12 oz cream cheese, softened (1 1/2 packages of 8oz)
1/2 can of sweetened condensed milk (7oz)
3/4 cup pumpkin puree (drained*)
2 medium eggs
2 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tbsp vanilla
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice + 1 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
  1. Preheat oven to 325F
  2. layer 2 kitchen towels in a bowl and put 1 cup of pumpkin puree and let it drain for 10 mins. Cover it with another 2 kitchen towels again. The puree won't stick at all but this gets rid of all the excess water. You should end up with 3/4 cup of a ball of pumpkin that you can pick up
  3. To make the crust, mix the crumbs, sugar, ginger together. Drizzle in the butter and mix. Pat the crust mix into a 5" spring form pan. Bake for 8-10 mins and let cool
  4. For the cheesecake, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Gradually beat in the condensed milk. While beating, add the pumpkin puree, eggs, syrup, vanilla and salt and spices.
  5. Gently mix the flour in (try not to over mix). Bake at 325F for 50 mins.
  6. DO NOT take it out of the oven. Just switch the oven off and let it sit there for 3 hours. This prevents the surface from cracking and no meddling with water baths!
  7. Chill for at least 2 hours and best overnight for a perfect cheesecake texture. Enjoy!


26 October 2014

No-Churn Rocky Road Ice Cream (over waffles!)

I'm finally done with the kidneys!! Gosh, they are just 2 small little beans, but they are so complex. Ugh, worst organ ever to study for. Up next is the brain... I still have no idea what I want to do yet after med school. All I have been doing is eliminating fields I could never see myself in. Like pediatrics (I just don't mesh with kids), dermatology (don't ever let me touch that oozing lesion on your skin) or cardiology... can barely hear my own heart beat with my stethoscope ;). Learning each organ and body part makes me dislike them even more. Can't wait until I never have to study again... oh wait, studying is mah lyfe foreverrrr :(((((

Anyway, making no-churn ice cream has been on my bucket list for ages! I can't believe how easy and delicious you can make ice cream without an ice cream maker. I had about 10 different ice cream machine models saved on my Amazon account, because I was thinking of buying one and making ice cream all day everyday. But, now I can save even more $$$ and make delicious ice cream all day everyday!! I have so many ideas and ice cream things to do and I'm so excited I'm going to burst :D (sorry, a little hyper because I had ice cream for dinner :P)


No-Churn Rocky Road Ice Cream

inspired by Nigella.com
makes 2-3 pints

1 pint heavy whipping cream
1 cup sweetened condensed milk
4 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tbsp vanilla extract (good quality)
heaping 1/4 cup marshmallow
heaping 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
heaping 1/4 cup walnuts (or whatever nuts you have on hand)
more marshmallow, chocolate chips, nuts to top

** Waffle recipe below
  1. Whisk whipping cream, condensed milk, cocoa powder, vanilla together at low speed first to prevent splashing. Gradually increase speed to medium high.
  2. Whisk until soft peaks form, about 5 mins and it should have a light brown airy mixture
  3. Fold in toppings (marshmallow, choc chips, nuts) gently and fill 3x1-pint airtight containers
  4. Freeze at least 6 hours or overnight

Buttermilk Waffles

makes 6-8 square waffles (serves 2-4)
double for a crowd!

1 cup flour
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2.5 tbsp melted butter
1 cup buttermilk (or more)
  • Preheat your waffle machine. Mix dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder & soda), salt. Mix wet (egg, vanilla, butter, buttermilk). Stir together. Add more buttermilk if the consistency is not runny enough.
  • Place in your waffle machine according to instructions. Or about 2 mins.

14 October 2014

Kimchi Fried Rice Waffles

This is a quick post before I get back to studying! We are currently learning about how the kidney functions and these organs cannot get anymore interesting...uh naahhtt. The only thing I've learned so far is that I have a drinking problem. As in I drink too much water (please... what else would I drink?). And if you see blood in your pee, it's time you paid a visit to your doctor!

Yay, I'm finally posting about something other than sweets and desserts today! I just have a wicked sweet tooth and probably a lot of cavities :(. I can happily eat ice-cream for dinner, I dream of eating donuts while I'm eating my salad and you'll probably find a muffin stuffed in my bra on any given day.

Soo anyway, I decided to waffle my rice one day, because I think I saw it on my instagram or something. But, waffling makes the rice super crispy on the outside, like that burnt rice you find on the bottom of a hot stone pot (called noo-roong-ji 누룽지). Yum, it's so chewy and fragrant! I just got a waffle maker so I'm excited to use it. Although, my mum is probably going to kill me for buying another kitchen appliance... eek!



Waffle Kimchi Fried rice

makes 2 large waffles

1 cup kimchi chopped into bits (use cabbage kimchi centers and not the leaves)
1/4 cup kimchi juice
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 small onion, chopped finely
1/2 jalapeño, chopped finely
1-2 tbsp gochujang/Korean chili paste (according to taste)
3 tsp sesame oil
2-3 cups day-old rice, cold
sesame seed, dried nori, green onion (optional)
fried egg

  1. Fry garlic until fragrant, add onions and jalapeño and let it sweat a little (~2 mins)
  2. Add kimchi and saute until softened (2-3 mins). Add gochujang and mix until homogenous
  3. Add cold rice and break it up thoroughly. Drizzle in kimchi juice
  4. Saute and toss frequently for 5 mins. Adding sesame oil and a handful of chopped green onion at the last minute (you want your rice to be a little more dry than usual - for waffling)
  5. Let it cool or stick it in the fridge for a while (skipping this step is fine but waffles are more to fall apart)
  6. Preheat waffle machine. I don't have fancy one so it is all 1 heat setting. Stuff the machine with more kimchi fried rice waffle "batter" than usual. You will squish it all down and the outside will crisp up. I kept it in my waffle maker for 3-4 minutes.
  7. Enjoy with a fried egg on top! 


07 October 2014

Birthday Cake Macarons - Blogiversary

Happy Birthday to my blog! Yay. It's been 3 years since I've started blogging and a year on this blog. I'm glad my med school schedule really allows me to cook and bake so much (yea, right). I might have sacrificed a lot of my exercise time to work on my blog, but a widened girth makes for a satisfying lady :P

Blogging has allowed me to make and try a lot of things. Meet a few blogger friends along the way and on instagram. But mostly, my blog exists to annoy my bf hahaha. He's my hand model, food holder, light reflector holder, prop holder and food tester. Sometimes he has to eat dinner at 3pm because I need to take pictures before the light goes down and by the time I'm done with my photoshoot, he needs to reheat it. Oops... I could keep going on but I think you get the idea (and you will think I'm a monster). Thank you for putting up with me! And a thank you to my roommate, who I've now recruited to hold my props. Lol. But, I make sure I feed them with lots of yummy goodies.

And thank you to my readers (if I actually have any ︶︹︺)!!


Birthday Cake Macarons

makes about 30-35 

Macaron Batter
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup finely ground almonds
2 large egg whites, aged 2 days in fridge and 1 day at room temp
5 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of cream of tartar (it was really humid when I was making these, but this is optional)
sprinkles

Cheesecake filling
4 oz cream cheese, softened
2 tbsp butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar (adjust according to taste)
1/2-1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp sprinkles

Filling - *I like to do this step when I'm waiting for the macaron shells to dry
  • Whip softened butter and cream cheese together until light and fluffy. Whip in the powdered sugar and vanilla. Stir in the sprinkles
  • Fill a pastry bag with the filling and let chill

Macaron shells
  1. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicon mat and get a pastry bag with a 1/2 inch plain tip prepared
  2. In a food processor pulse almond flour and powdered sugar until mixed and fluffy
  3. In the bowl of your stand mixer (if you have one, or just an egg beater bowl... I really don't recommend whisking by hand!), beat egg whites with the whisk attachment on medium low for 2 mins, gradually adding in the sugar.
  4. Increase speed to 7 to whip for another 3 minutes and then at 8-10 for another 4 minutes. You should be getting a stiff meringue that you can make soft peaks. Add the vanilla in the last 4 minutes.
  5. Fold the dry ingredients in 2 batches with a rubber spatula and make smooth sweeps to the bottom of the bowl. You do want to deflate the meringue a bit so squishing to mix to knock out some air is okay! After about 50-ish foldings, the batter should look glossy and when you drop some from your spatula to the batter, it takes about 20 secs for it to mold back into the mix. Don't over mix or it will a runny and watery mess!
  6. Fill your pastry bag (hold it up in a tall glass..makes life so easy) and pipe batter onto the prepared baking sheets in 3.5cm circles, spaced 1" apart. 
  7. Rap the baking sheet a few times about 1 inch above the counter top to flatten the macarons and to get rid of bubbles. Sprinkle sprinkles!
  8. Let them rest at room temp for 45-60mins. The tops should be dry and nothing should stick to your finger if you poke them. 
  9. Preheat your oven to 315 F. Bake for 15 mins, rotate pans and then bake for another 3-5 minutes. You can check they are done by lifting one macaron you can sacrifice. If the feet comes off, leave it in a minute longer. It's better to overbake than underbake. 
  10. Let cool completely before removing them from the paper. Line up similar sized ones and pipe the chilled cheesecake filling onto 1 shell. Sandwich together. Let them sit in the fridge in a sealed container for at least 1 day before serving. They don't taste as good fresh out because the inside of the macaron shells need some time to soften and for the filling flavors to come together.


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