Monday, October 31, 2011


Lastly for my brother, I baked him a Coffee and Walnut cake.

The Birthday boy with his lovely wife.

There are only 2 layers to this cake. I brushed some coffee liquer over the layer. Its ok for adults.
The cake is then filled with Coffee and Walnut frosting.

The grounded walnut were added to add a nice crunch to the frosting.

The top is decorated with some walnut pieces. Seeing that it looks rather plain, I melted some chocolate and drizzle it across the cake.

It looks more festive and happy.


In this family, the father and daughters' birthdays are consecutive ie being on 30th and 31st October and 1st November.

So normally they could celebrate their birthdays together with a party on the same day.

So besides the Project 21, I also baked a Red Velvet Cake for the other birthday girl.

The birthday girl with the parents.

I baked 2 Red Velvet cakes which were again kept in the fridge overnight to firm them to make handling easier.

Each cake is then split into 2 layers each.

Tip: place cake on an inverted cooling rack on the baking sheet. Keeping the knife level at the rim of the baking sheet, move it across the cake and you can get even layers.

Each layer is filled with cream cheese frosting.

More cream cheese frosting around the side and top of the cake.

I made the red ribbon bow using double sided tape and the ribbon is then stick around the base of the cake with piping jelly.

The top is left plain as I was using these heart-shape toppers. Simple.

I notice that this cake seems to be more popular with the younger generation.

Sunday, October 30, 2011


My niece celebrated her 21st birthday last weekend.

When I knew that she will be celebrating her birthday, I had decided to myself to make her some cupcakes and in fact created a cupcake stand for that too.

The Cupcake stand made from recycle cardboards and cans.

Making cupcakes could be easy. I am pretty comfortable with them- no problem.

Then my sister-in-law told me that the birthday girl would prefer a "21" cake. Ah! what! Gosh, I had never done that before. 101 reasons came up to refuse her - I haven't done it before. My decorating is no good. What if the cake falls apart? What if the cake is too hard and dry?

I am really being pushed out of my comfort zone.

But if this is her birthday wish, I got to do it. No matter what. I called this my Project 21.

Thank God with a little tender loving care and love, I managed to bake her this cake.

It is a Orange Blossom Almond Butter Cake.

I am happy but of course, there is plenty of room for improvement. At least I am glad of the challenge and I did managed to finish it.

And the first cake that I baked did fall apart when I turned it over to the cake board!

Now I had a whole box of broken cake- good timing for trying out cake pops?

Getting the templates ready.

I have baked and kept the cakes in the fridge to firm them up to make handling easier.

Cutting cut the figure 2

Patching the cake together.

The same procedure for the figure 1.

Icing the cake with buttercream.

I have stuck pieces of parchment paper around the cake. After completing you just have to pull them off and this help to keep the cake board clean.

The "2" goes back in the fridge and it is the "1" turn.

The cakes took turns to go in and out of the fridge alternatively.

I piped a row of shell along the base of the cake. The top are left plain as I have decided to stick some butterfly crafts. Simple is best.

Thank You Ging for letting me use your cake as a guinea pig! Hope you had enjoyed yourself.

Monday, October 24, 2011


I attended another Flavours workshop last weekend at the French Culinary School. This time it is Pasta from scratch. We were taught how to make fresh pasta. The pasta dough was made with the semolina flour from Italy.

1. Ravioli with Smoked Salmon filling.

While the dough was resting, the chef prepared the filling for the ravioli. Its smoked salmon with ricotta cheese and red berries. These red berries are commonly used in the Scandianvian countries. Its taste a bit peppery yet its sweet not pungent at all.

Dill and chives are added too.

The chef making the ravioli with the fresh pasta sheet.

The ravioli filled and ready for the cooking. They are quickly blanched in boiling water. The ravioli are served with a dill creamy sauce.

2. Tagliatelle with Mushroom and Mixed herbs.

The chef rolling out the fresh tagliatelle.
By the way, this electric pasta machine is from Italy and costs around RM540.00.
But chef said you can always use the "pan Mee" noddle type.

The pasta are then hang to dry.

The pasta mixed with sauteed mushroom and mixed herbs. Delicious

No.3 Lasagna with Beef Ragout

Rolling the sheets - see they are very thin.

The beef stew using beef cheeks which were braised slowly in the oven for an hour.

1st layer of bechamel sauce.

Then the pasta are placed on top

Ladle the beef stew over the pasta. Sprinkle with grated cheese.

Layer the pasta over again.

Then the bechamel sauce and then the beef stew.

The 2nd layer of pasta and then the bechamel sauce goes on top.

Sprinkle with cheese and its ready for baking. Gorgeous cheesy smell while baking.

Yummy lasagna -


The potatoes are peeled and boiled till soft. Mash it through a sieve and mixed with flour to get a smooth dough. Do Not knead the dough - in fact the way he did it was just sort of folding it over and over till it comes together.

cutting the dought into bite size.

Marking the dough - the traditional style with the tines of the fork. This helps to retain the sauce.

Gnocchi with Gorgonzola sauce. Soft pillowy and cheesy.

Smoked Duck Breast with Lentils


The duck breast after been marinated with salt and pepper and ready for smoking.
After smoking for 30 minutes, the duck breast were then pan fried.
The chef prepare the lentils- French lentil- Puy lentil - in chicken broth with bay leaf and carrots. The tomato was peeled (yes with a microplane serrated peeler- no need the usual boiling water etc.) and then chopped and added last to the lentils.

Smoke duck breast served with lentils and a dash of aged balsamic vinegar.

Dessert was Creme Brulee.

He sprinkled some brown sugar on the chilled creme brulee.

Caramelizing the sugar.

Truly a very pleasant end to the class.

Thursday, October 20, 2011


Lesson No. 2

Omelette with mushroom and mixed herbs

The chef showed us the proper way to cook an omelette.

1. Beat the eggs and season it.

2. Heat the pan and pour eggs in and keep stirring the eggs until it starts to set.

3. Gently start to roll the eggs from one end of the pan towards the end

4. Take pan off heat and give the pan a gentle knock to loosen the omelette

5. Gently roll the omelette onto the plate and immediately use a paper towel to shape it nicely into a long roll.

The omelette was cooked to a creamy texture- not overcooked or brown at all.

This was done by one of the participants- not so perfect.

Lesson No. 3

To cook scrambled eggs.

Again its stirring all the time in the pan and not to let the eggs cooked. the pan is taken on/off the heat if the eggs are starting to cook too fast.

The scrambled eggs should be moist and creamy.

Scrambled Eggs with Truffle paste on toast- definitely a gourmet breakfast