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 🙂

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

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

The Quickest Way to My Man’s Heart…

Stomach.

Yeah.

Especially when I am experimenting with cakes.

I can feel that his love to me just quadrupled whenever he sees a dozen of cupcakes in the kitchen. Freshly baked cupcakes. Lucky for him, that I like baking more than I like eating them. As I said before, I do need to lose some pounds — and as we know already, cupcakes don’t help.

I have tried making green tea cupcakes before, but I didn’t decorate it with butter cream icing. Now, I do.

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Yes, I am still learning how to use pipes. I thought, if I want to participate in The Great British Bake Off, I would have to be able to master piping and decorating cakes. For now though… It looks a bit messy, but seriously I have tried my best to make it vaguely attractive. Not that I need to do it to attract my husband attention.

They’re cakes…

x ❤ x

Sweet Interlude

I don’t have sweet tooth, but my husband do. I think it is a great example of a mutual relationship between my husband and I. I like baking but couldn’t eat what I bake (or not too many of them), and my husband is just too happy to support my baking hobby. How wonderful is that?

So, I decided to bake chocolate cupcake. I have the ingredients ready, and the recipe from allrecipes.co.uk was incredibly easy to follow. The word “foolproof” from the maker of the recipe is quite telling.

I wasn’t sure about the batter though, because it looks really thick and doesn’t seem much. The recipe said it would make 24 cupcakes, but seriously… I had to scrape every last drop from the bowl to push 12. Maybe the original recipe owner was making mini cupcakes. I don’t know.

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Other thing that I learn this time is: piping. I suck at it, and I am not ashamed to admit it. My lack of knowledge about nozzles didn’t help at all.

However, I tried. And I think on my last cupcake, I could make up something that barely resemble a piece of pipe work. Tada…

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The verdict? Well it was soft, incredibly soft, and light. I am not sure whether it is supposed to be crumbly or spongy, but mine is quite crumbly. My husband loves it… obviously. The only thing that stopping him to eat more than two in a sitting is the icing — he found it quite rich. But seriously, what did he expect.

It’s chocolate.

x ❤ x

This Little Piggy Took On A Strawberry Challenge

What is a Strawberry Challenge, you would ask me. Well, my friends… when you are bored like me, you would start making challenges for yourself just to make sure that your day goes a little bit more exciting than the day before.

My husband and I were off to our local corner shop because we needed bread and milk. As usual, we never managed to go and get ONLY the stuff that we needed. I saw strawberries on offer, and priced 56p a punnet. I investigated and quietly poked some berries from outside the plastic packaging, they were still firm and looked fresh. I took two boxes, and got a nod of agreement from my husband.

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Found a super bargain from a local corner shop, 56p a punnet.

The next day, I just realised that we ended up with almost a kilogram of strawberry. I decided that none of these beautiful ruby red bunch of sweetness should not go to waste. I thought, it would be a good idea to think about it while having my breakfast.

Of course I had strawberries for breakfast.

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strawberries, greek yogurt, rolled oat, mixed seed (sunflower, pumpkin, and pinenuts), with drizzles of honey

I washed and drained the strawberries to see how many of them were about to go off, and surprisingly there weren’t too many. But I separated the very ripe ones and made a really nice strawberry jam with it. Not much, because I don’t have a proper jam jar, so I just put it in a pot and refrigerate it. My husband loves jam, so I don’t think it would last long there.

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Fresh and tasty strawberry jam. Bet you a fiver it will be finished in 3 days.

But we still have plenty of strawberries, so I googled some recipes on the net, and saw one which I could easily do with the ingredients I have at home. I always believe that the best homemade food is one that involves the least ingredients and the most creativity.

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Strawberry Tart. There’s no need to explain how heavenly good this is…

I don’t usually like fruit tart. The idea of cooked fruit is not really appealing for me. But this one was really good. Not only that I know that I have used the fresh strawberry, but also knowing that the whole process was hygienic. My husband could not get his hands off this tasty treat.