Bake Off is On (Again)

Despite feeling utterly devastated last year, knowing that The Great British Bake Off is no longer broadcasted on BBC, I can’t help feeling excited to know that it is back on telly last night. Of course it is not the same without Queen Mary (Berry), but hey… change could be good. It did not work with Top Gear, but QI is doing okay without Mr. Fry.

The adverts, though… We could all do without them. But being a positive me, I think adverts time is the best time to count stitches.

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Anyway… I warned my husband that with Bake Off on telly, it means there would be a massive amount of baked goods coming out of the kitchen. When I heard him grumping, I told him that if he did not like what I bake, he could always share with the colleagues. Apparently he was grumping because he knew he had to share with the colleagues.

He really is extra-possessive to his cakes.

So, I did some midnight baking. Not necessarily because of Bake Off, but because I couldn’t sleep. Last night was BAKING hot — heh heh… sorry, can’t help myself, and it was too uncomfortable to go to bed, or knitting — gasp.

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This week signature dishes is fruity cake. Or cake with fruit. Uhm… not really understand the challenge yet, so I made my upside down apple caramel spiced cake. I mean… it’s cake with fruit, isn’t it?

x ❤ x

P.S. In the morning, only half of it is left in the kitchen.

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I Am Officially An Auntie :D

Well… I was an auntie before this, because my DH has a nephew, but you know what I mean…

My sister just gave birth to a beautiful little daughter — the first in my family. Both the mother and the baby are healthy, and in an excellent condition. My parents are over the moon for their first grandchild.

I am so overjoyed, but at the same time feel a bit sad that I am not the only one who are not there with my sister to give support. Seems like I am the only one missing the celebration in Indonesia 😦 Not happy about it 😦

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Anyway…

So, I decided to just celebrate it myself here with my husband, by baking a cake 🙂 Obviously we don’t need any reason to bake a cake, but it feels slightly more special when you attach story behind a bake…

And here you go…

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Whoopsie… Forgot to take photo before sliced it :p

 

Cocopandan Cake with Gula Melaka topping.

Yes it sounds foreign, I know. But I feel like I want to make this one because it reminds me so much of home. Cocopandan is basically coconut and pandan (fragrant leaves, very popular in Indonesian desserts and beverages), and gula melaka or gula merah is how we call palm sugar in that part of the world.

It tastes wonderful. A wonderful cake for a wonderful day 🙂

Pastry Week at The Great British Bake Off

Do you watch The Great British Bake Off? If you are in Britain you probably do, but if you’re not in Britain, Bake Off might sound not too familiar. You could google it, but basically it is a baking competition… clue is in the name.

However, Bake Off is a completely different cooking competition to ones I have seen before. It is not Top Chef, it is not Masterchef… it is not anything you’ve seen before. It is a very friendly, homely kind of show, with a bunch of lovely contestants, an unlikely pair of judges, and a pair of comedian as hosts. There are no hostility towards competitors, no bad mouthing, no sabotage etc — just a good old baking.

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I made croissant for bread week, not knowing that it is actually for pastry week… woops!!

So… I was flabbergasted when I heard BBC has to let GBBO go to Channel 4. Yes, ladies and gentlemen — it is a headline news in the UK.

I have been following the weekly themes and making my own stuff… A cake for cake week, biscuits on biscuit week… you got the picture. Only last week, when they released the news about GBBO move, I couldn’t make myself bake for batter week…

But I am back now… And although I am slightly disappointed that Val is going (just right after Kate! Two my favourites in a row!), I am ready to bake again.

So for this week theme: Pastry week… i present to you: Tarte Aux Pommes:

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Should have keep an eye for that slightly burnt edge 😦 And I forgot that I didn’t have apricot jam for glaze… oh well 😦

My neighbour has extra apples from her daughter’s apple tree at home, so she insisted I took it. I thought it would taste wonderful in a tart. Why not apple pie, you ask? Because… frangipane. Enough said…

Did my DH like it? Pssh! Sweet pastry with frangipane? He could scoff the lot in one sitting :0

x ❤ x

Happy Homemade Pizza

My husband likes pizza. But I mean, who doesn’t? Well… I don’t. At least not the kind of pizza we usually have. Bake from frozen pizza is okay for convenience, when I don’t have either time or when I couldn’t be bothered to start making things from scratch.

In Aldi, you can get 3 pieces of 8 inches magheritta pizza for just under £3, means just under £1 each. Sounds like a good deal? True. But man, when I look at the pizza base recipe in HERE, I thought… I’ve been robbed. And that frozen pizza isn’t even “that” nice.

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So… I decided to try to make my own pizza. From scratch. Mind you this is not the pizza base as you know it. It does not need proofing — the only reason why I was willing to try this recipe :p

Half of the recipe could make an 11 inches pizza. And that’s what I made. Not tomato and cheese standard pizza, I have sausage meat, mushroom, and extra mozzarella. Yum!

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Not only that, I could not only add and substitute ingredients as I like it, and making it more wholesome, I could also calculate the calories I am actually eating. If you are counting calories, making your own food is much better than buying a ready made things.

And it tastes MUCH better. Fresher, definitely. And much more satisfying. I can only eat two slices. That’s all.

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x ❤ x

I Don’t Like Food Colouring But…

Maybe I have to start learning how to use it.

Growing up in Indonesia I have been taught that not all food colouring is safe. Especially where I came from, the trading standard and the food safety regulation is not as strict as it is in the UK or other developed country. Indonesia was quite third world when I grew up, you see?

Maybe I have to unlearn that knowledge because in the UK food colouring is safe. And it might make my cupcake looks nicer.

Like these ones, for example.

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I didn’t realise that blueberry’s natural colour in a cake doesn’t look appetising at all. Instead of looking purplish blue, it looks quite greyish — especially when the top gets slightly brown. Even my husband couldn’t help himself feeling the urge to laugh when I showed him how creepy looking it is. He mentioned “mold” but I decided I didn’t hear it at all.

And, one other thing… Maybe it is the way it reacts to different ingredients, but it didn’t turn either blue or grey when it is used in the butter cream. It was bright purple, almost pink even. Somehow it was pink-er than strawberry! Maybe someone could help me in this? This is pretty confusing.

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It looks nice with rose pipe thingy, but I thought it was going to be blue. I guess I was wrong.

So yeah. If… If I had used food colouring, the cupcakes might have turned up with a better solid colour. The more blueberry-ey colour maybe. Anyway… what’s the colour of blueberry anyway?

x ❤ x

Meanwhile in The Kitchen…

One of the things that keep me away from boredom stress is learning a new thing everyday. It is important for me to keep my brain working — being inquisitive, being adventurous. Or else, life is just… flat. And I don’t want it.

Not going to moan about how hard it is to get a job now. And not going to preach the importance of being positive either. I’d rather show you what I have been trying to do in the kitchen.

Two colours piping.

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bit stingy with the buttercream there…

Youtube is a great place to learn. It is full of people who are not only willing to teach and share their expertise, they are also willing to teach you for free. So, I’ve been wasting spending some time there and take notes and…

Voila.

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Since I don’t use food colouring, so the colour here is basically plain buttercream, and another one with chocolate or matcha  — for the green one above. Not too bad isn’t it — for a beginner?

x ❤ x

Summer… Is It Here Yet?

Lots and lots and lots of strawberries out there. While I love having them for breakfast with my yoghurt and honey (or having it in the Eton Mess), sometimes I couldn’t just finish it on time. So… I decided to make it as… cupcakes.

It surprises me that there are not that many strawberry cupcakes out there. I saw a lot of strawberry shortcake, or tart, but not cake.

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It was a bit disappointing really when I saw the cake came out the oven not looking either red nor pink — because the cake batter was slightly pink, I expected something with brighter colour. Maybe next time I could use a drop of food colouring… I don’t know. Anyway… it looks brown. Just like the usual cake.

Fortunately, the buttercream icing doesn’t need colouring to make it a beautiful pale pink. It just look pretty with the flower-ish piping. Maybe next time I would add more icing sugar to make it a bit firmer too… *take notes*

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And it tastes nice too… It didn’t last the weekend, if you ask me — as hubby ate them two at one sitting. Ah.. no wonder dieting in this household doesn’t work…

x<3 x