Tuesday, April 28, 2015

NezBakes: Apple Pie/Tart

It's been raining a lot, especially in the afternoon recently. While this pretty much reminded me of the weather in UK, it'd be a real lucky day if the day has no rain! So I've been dreaming of this lovely Brenton apple pie that I always had for dinner while studying there. The hostel kitchen always prepare incredible desserts for us after every meal, which is my absolute fave time to look forward to each day after a tiring day. I love especially the crust! & the layer of custard cream & caramel sauce.


While this apple pie/tart that I made is nothing like that, but still good enough to satisfy my crave for it. A layer of shortcut pastry, top with apple fillings. Simple yet delightful :)

If you're a fan of McD apple pie, this filling is almost similar to that! While i personally prefer a cookie-like crust instead of flaky so yeap!


BTW, I can't really differentiate between apple pie & tart. They look almost the same to me, or is that just how we along with the common terms being called? Like apple goes better with pie while egg with tarts, etc. Heh, enlighten me!


Anyways, that's not really important. Cos I'm more into the taste & satisfaction!


This recipe of mine is inspired by my idol-chef Jamie Oliver!

Yields 6" pie dish 
Pie Crust:80g All Purpose Flour
28g Cold Unsalted Butter *see note4tsp Chilled Water 
Apple Filling:2 Gala Red Apple (de-cored & sliced)
Juice from half a Lemon + 1tbsp of water
2tbsp light brown sugar *see note1/4tsp ground cinnamon 


To make the crust,

  1. Rub in chopped cold butter into the flour till you reach a bread crumb consistency. 
  2. Make a well in the center of the dry mixture, add chilled water.
  3. Mix with a wooden spoon to let the wet & dry ingredients come together.
  4. Knead your dough in a bit on a lightly floured surface. Do not overwork your dough. 
  5. Wrap the dough using cling form and chilled in the fridge for at least an hour. I did mine for about 5 hours. 
  6. Roll out dough and place them onto the greased baking dish. 
  7. Wrap dish with cling form then return it into the fridge. This prevents crust from shrinking while baking. 

To make the filling,

  1. Decore and cut apples into slices/chunks (depends on your preference on the texture)
  2. Squeeze in lemon juice. This gives flavours & prevents browning of the apples.
  3. Add cinnamon, toss the apple to ensure they are evenly coated.
  4. Add sugar and water. 
  5. Simmer the apple under low heat for about 10-15 minutes. 
  6. Pour the apple mixture onto the crust.
  7. Brush the side of crust with egg wash/milk.  


Bake at 170c for 30 minutes.

Seriously, the ideal way to serve a warm dessert is with a scoop of ice-cream! 

I had mine with my ultimate love Rum&Raisin flavour & a huge strawberry :) Yeap, making use of whatever that's in the season is the best!


The best RR ice-cream i had was from Haagen Dazs but sadly, they don't produce it anymore in M'sia! :'( probably cos alcohol is non-halal? I remember having the Bailey's flavour in the UK, RR as well and I can never forget the wholesome goodness of it! Liquor = Life. 
You know that if you're Brits or live like one! ;)


I really really miss England :'(



*Note:
1. The ratio to make shortcut pastry is 4 flour : 2 butter : 1 liquid
Supposedly, i should be using 40g of butter, but I used 28g (appx. 2 tbsp) instead since i don't want it to be too buttery or fattening so you could go with this if you're on a strict diet yet wanna enjoy a good piece of dessert!

2. Sugar is adjusted to your personal liking and since i'm using the Gala apple which is kinda sweet, the amount of sugar i used is just perfect with the small amount of lemon juice I added in.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

NezBakes: The Heavenly Chocolate Lava

YES!!! I succeeded in making the heavenly chocolate lava cake! :D *jumps over the moon*


Aw man! I can't believe I did it ! This was done half an hour ago and galloped within a few minutes! See my eagerness in blogging about this? Absolutely! :D


It is obvious that I'm a chocoholic & chocolate lava has gotta be my favourite of all types of chocolate cake! It is so luscious, decadent, comforting..and the list goes on!
This dessert IS a perfect dessert to go for when you want something not too filling or when you can't decide between a hot chocolate drink and pudding. A chocolate lava solves all your problems! :D

But I've gotta say, chocolate lava is by far the most challenging dessert I've come across. It's a shame to tell that I've tried it for about 5 times? (yeah I lost count) though of the youtube & blogs that I've read about it are raving about how easy peasy it is to make this. It either turned out to be a tough cake-like brownie with weird egg-ie taste or literally uncooked for my case :/

And this time, I FINALLY gotten everything right! The temperature & timing are crucial, and it is highly dependent on individual ovens. Measurements on the ingredients are important, too. Make sure you use a digital weighing scale to prepare them ingredients accurately.


I've done tonnes of research on this and found that the ratio of 2 parts chocolate to 1 part fats makes up the best lava cake. Flavouring like sugar, vanilla & salt (or even coffee granules) are adjusted and added according to personal preference. Some recipes call for flours to set the structure while some doesn't. I've tried both, the former is on the safer side for non-experts I would say.

I hence came up with this recipe which is brilliant enough for my indulgence.

Serves 2
50g Hershey Milk Chocolate Chips
25g unsalted butter
2 tbsp light brown sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1 large egg
1.5 tbsp All Purpose Flour

Methods:

  1. Melt the chocolate & butter over double boiler. Stir constantly till it reaches a smooth consistently.
  2. Add salt. Stir well.
  3. Set the chocolate mixture aside to cool.
  4. Beat egg and sugar till fluffy.
  5. Pour in the cooled chocolate mixture and mix well.
  6. Fold in the flour.
  7. Pour the mixture into ramekins.
  8. Bake at 175c for 15 minutes. *see note


The end product should look cakey with center unset/unfirm/undercooked (it's like jiggly when you move it) so that you could get the ooooooozing effect !

Like this,
The center sinks a bit after taken out from the oven probably due to the drops in temperature but doesn't really have much effects so yup :)


Tips:

  1. Greased & coat the ramekins with sugar/cocoa powder for easy unmould. You may leave it out if you intend to eat it straight from the ramekin. 
  2. Pairing with milk chips, I used light brown sugar and some salt to reduce the sweetness. If you're using semisweet/bittersweet chips, use white sugar then! 
  3. For better presentation, dust with some confectionary/icing sugar, garnish with mint leafs or berries. 
  4. Best serve with a scoop of ice-cream! :D


Note: I chilled the batter in the fridge overnight. Hence, longer baking time.


So whatcha waiting for? Get into your kitchen and bake yourself a lava cake! :D
HAPPY MIDWEEK YOU LOVELY PEOPLE! xx

Thursday, April 16, 2015

The sc3 girls meet up

People always say, high school friends are friends forever. They are the ones who've been through thick and thin with you, seen the most rebellious side of you, yet still stay by you. True enough, I wouldn't be who I am today without them! Though we went on separate ways after high school, but distance isn't sharp enough to break the bond between us ;)

Since everyone's back at the moment, we can finally get together again! Isn't girls night like THE best?


Desserts is also one best friend that must not be excluded ! Hehe! Decided to meet up @ The Brew Orchestra since it's nearer to the 2 working ladies! Yeah, the rest of us are currently unemployed (should I put a smirk or sad emoticon? lol)

Choco Banana Waffles! So yummehhhh!

Waffles is always the winner when presented with other sweet treats like cakes, brownies, pancakes etc. Though I'm more of the crispy waffle fan, like the ones served at Coffee Loft, this fluffy babies are lovely enough to satisfy my taste buds!

Best part about it is that it doesn't feel soggy and gross even after the ice-cream has melted ! & not sure if they're really generous on the ingredients or the vanilla essence, the fragrance is such a bomb that it gives your appetite a kick and says, "ORDER ME!!!". So yeah, very obediently, I followed the command and cleaned sweep it. Enough said.


Some people still behave the same even though we SEEM to have grown up. Candid pictures whenever someone gets the hold of the camera. Hmm I wonder who..

Lyn lyn still so pweeetty :3

The official dentist in another 3 months time! Congrats on your graduation in advanced & thanks for chauffering me around last night! x

Hands off gadgets next time! 

Disclaimer: I was NOT playing on my phone okay! Cos my phone was so naughty that it had a bite of my ice-cream so I was wiping its mouth you seeeeeeeee?


With Lyn, Steph & Kelly!

Hello you're finally back from the Kangaroo land!

With Sarah & Ling


Sorry for the poor photo quality. The lighting at the cafe was really bad for photo taking but great ambience! The staffs are so polite & kind that they told us to pose at the entrance cos the lighting is better there, not forgetting to help us with photo taking as well. :)


XXOO

Verdict? 4/5 for the excellent service & food :)

It was absolutely a fun-filled night with lotsa catching up! Road trips soon? :D
Happy mid-week, & hang on there if you're facing ups & downs at work cos weekend is just 2 days away! Smile :) x

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Screw GST!

Hello!

Just wondering how's everyone doing after the implementation of GST in Malaysia. That sounds like a silly question, like oh wells, life still goes on despite the cut down on shopping and dining out. But hey! Aren't those activities one major part of life?

I bet everyone went massive shopping for especially household products & food stock-up before April ! Have gotta admit that it was like a war even though I went for a few days during the weekday! Yeah, it was that bad that I had to do it for a few days because apparently, many items went outta stock and maybe you just realised you forget some stuff or needed more after you got home so yeah. Everyone's trolley was super loaded and piled up, it seems like some disaster was gonna hit Malaysia (oh wait, there is- the GST!) and people will be in face with food scarcity or so. Whatever we see, like it or need it, we just grab a few and throw it into the trolley.

To show the world I still look fine after GST hits Malaysia. 


I am not sure about how well others are adapting to it. Obviously, Malaysians can't handle it. With the ever rising cost living and ever depleting currency, we are already struggling to live like a normal and there, more money being sucked up. 


One Scottish lady who was interviewed by the news stated, "though the living cost here is lower compared to Scotland, but charging on serving tax itself is ridiculous, not like the service is good!" 

Well said ! Seriously, most services in Malaysia sucks! They are especially inefficient and impolite. Foreign chains like Starbucks, Uniqlo are exception but seriously, if services are good, I'm more than willing to pay. But why pay for shit?! 

Then again, how shameful it is, to offer foreigners with such impression. *sigh*

Sincere pledge from not just me but i bet the whole of nations, that the government may give a thorough second thought and to abolish it. 



One old lady also said, "I do stock up in a bit, but not too much. Cos after all, we still have to face it."

What a sad true. Dining out is inevitable, especially you have dates and all. On a lighter note! One of my fave dining place, Grill Bar, has recently opened a new cafe nearby their outlet! It's called Cafe Racer by Grill Bar. I've always loved their steak & pizza. They serve great desserts as well! The restaurant also offer lovely and cosy ambience that is perfect for family meals, gathering or dates. 

I shall not fail to mention, their chocolate lava is hands down the best in town! And yes, it is also being served in their new cafe! 
Feel the happiness as it oozes out ! I actually took a video of it cos it's such a phenomenon process and I just can't help!

The service at the outlet is good too. The staffs are so cute they told me to just clap whenever I need them and so I did !


Their coffee is good too I supposed. My friend ordered and the coffee fragrance was strong but comforting. I had my usual tea to pair with the dessert so yup.

Verdict? 4/5 :)


Alright so back to the GST issue, my family (except myself) who are fond of dining out also started to cut down their take-out rates. And the poor me became their cook. Just made some simple meal for them two days ago. I'm a hardcore home cook, because I hold strong belief in healthy eating while my health condition is also one reason. Hence, the frequent baking session if you read my blog. I insist cooking my own meals everyday despite some days when you have dates. Otherwise, eating out is a big no-no to me without a valid reason!

Pardon them ugly eggs cos I was in a rush. Braised pork ribs with chinese cabbage (was what I made outta leftovers) and my proud fish.

Can I call this- Agnes 30 minutes meal? LOL (big fan of JAMIE OLIVER here btw :D)


So proud of my teriyaki mackerel with honey glazed sweet potato & broccoli. Yums!


And I've recently addicted to AVOCADO! It's so heavenly good I eat it with egg almost everyday! Be it soft-boiled, poached or omelette. They are such a perfect combo!

Soft-boiled is definitely my TOP love! So mad love with it !
Yolk porn!

I tried making it into pasta sauce & guacamole too. But I prefer eating it the purest way.

Sour cream fettuccine with portobello & scallop. Because pasta still goes best with white sauce! :p 


Alright, here ends my rant and food porn-ish post. Let's cross out fingers and pray that GST WILL BE ABOLISHED ASAP! Amen!

Chao.