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Oh no!

1 more month to go and i’ve not started training. With my current condition, i don’t think i can run or do any form of exercise at all without coughing my lungs out. And my throat hurts very much :(

Too many late nights, too little rest, too much heaty food.

CNY, what have you done?!?!

Anyway, without breaking the tradition, i always grab a photo with the boys on the first day of CNY and post it here. As of every year, we never quite manage to get a picture perfect photo because someone (the boys) is always acting funny or kena hidden or something. This year, boy2′s face is completely blocked! Grrr.

Apart from visiting friends and family, we had friends over for a mini CNY gathering. Instead of more visiting on the second day of CNY, i spent almost the whole afternoon baking away before the husband whisked me off to dinner and movie with friends.

Because i am a lazy bum, we had the friends over for tea instead of lunch. Less cooking to do! :P

The friends brought Yu Sheng (鱼生) over and so all i had to do was to provide snacks and desserts! I actually planned to bake and make a lot more desserts but how much can 10 adults and 10 children eat, i asked myself. In the end, i struck off many items on my list and ended up with just 3…

- matcha macaron with cream cheese filling

- kek or kueh lapis with cranberry (baked it again!)

- tiramisu

I’m quite pleased with my 4th attempt on macaron.

I finally had pretty feet!!!! :D

One thing about baking for friends is that u can never take proper photos! You know, too busy with all the preparations and baking till you just can’t take time off to click away leisurely.

tiramisu is just too messy to capture, unless it’s in a cup but i love messy tiramisu photo! somehow, it’s more appealing to me. hahaa!

It was Darcy who suggested tiramisu. But he also suggested freshly baked banana cake (bake only when the friends arrive) too which i didn’t bother. HAhahaa! Darcy must have missed my tiramisu quite a bit, probably because i’ve not made it for 2 years already!

Macaron was a hit. I must say i was pretty daring to attempt it after 3 very so-so attempts using a totally new recipe, on the very day itself in the morning. And i didn’t even have a back up plan!

Matcha Macaron

(adapted from here)

110g egg white
6g egg white powder
90g caster sugar
140g almond flour
160g icing sugar
3 – 4 teaspoon matcha powder
black sesame seeds (optional)

1. Preheat oven at 170 degrees Celsius.

2. Sift almond flour, matcha powder and icing sugar together in a bowl.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk egg whites and egg white powder till soft peaks are formed. Whisk in caster sugar until stiff peaks form.

4. To the egg white mixture, fold in dry ingredients from Step 2 in 1/3 portions to combine. Fold in the mixture more vigorously. Test the consistency from time to time by lifting a generous dollop of macaron paste and dropping it into the mixing bowl. If the macaron paste does not settle smoothly after 30 seconds, continue folding the paste. If the macaron paste smooths out too quickly, you’ve gone too far.

5. Pipe out the shells onto a baking sheet lined with parchment and leave them to rest for 25 minutes before baking. Sprinkle some black sesame seeds on the shell.

6. When a crust is formed, turn temperature on oven down to 140 degrees Celsius and bake for 15 minutes, turning the tray halfway through baking.

7. Cool parchment of baked shells on cooling rack. Unmould when the shells are completely cool.

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Taste and texture wise, it’s pretty darn good especially after resting them overnight in the fridge. Some say, best to eat it after 2 whole days when the flavor is fully developed and the shells are well re-hydrated but errrr, i didn’t manage to find that out cos every morsel was gone by noon. ^_^

With 30 egg whites sitting pretty in the fridge and this awesome recipe, you can be very sure there will be many many many macaron posts this month ;)

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Edited to add this in upon requests :

Tiramisu

(adapted from MamaC)

* i use 7″ square ring pan

* as for lady’s finger, i like this brand starts with V that can be found in all Cold Storage, Singapore. the packaging is orange in colour.
Syrup:
90 ml water
90 ml milk
65 ml Bailey
25 ml rum
1 teaspoon vanilla
1.5 tablespoons melted chocolate or chocolate syrup

Cream:
500g mascarpone cheese (I use Philadelphia Cream Cheese)
450 g whipping cream
150 – 170g sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
30 ml Bailey

Method
Roast the lady fingers in the oven at 160°C for about 5 minutes. (Optional) could be done without. Roasting the ladyfingers will give the cake a better flavor.

First make the cream and place in the refrigerator

Beat very well the whip cream + half amount of the above sugar until sugar is dissolved, make sure you don’t mix it too much (whip cream can turn to curds if over beaten), and then, beat very well the cheese + the last half amount of  sugar until it is dissolved. Combine all. Add vanilla and Bailey. Mix well.

For the syrup:
Place all the ingredients into a measuring cup and warm 30 seconds in the microwave. It doesn’t need to be hot, just warm would do.

Assemble the cake:
Place a layer of lady fingers on the bottom of the baking pan, using exactly half the liquid sprinkle all over the lady fingers, make sure you don’t put too much in one side and less in other areas.

Take a tea strainer and powder with cocoa (about 1 full teaspoon-if needed more add as desire) all over the lady fingers.
Take 1/2 of the cream mixture and place it in the middle of the cake. This is a little tricky… cream tends to stick to the spoon and get loose because of the cocoa powder. What I do, is push the cream towards the sides of the pan, until it touches the walls. The cream must touch the walls all around, and make sure the cream is spread well and no holes are communicating with the lady fingers bellow. We don’t want any liquid to go to the layer bellow.

Place next layer of lady fingers over the cream, sprinkle the rest of the syrup, sprinkle with cocoa and place the rest of the cream on top of everything. Level well and sprinkle plenty with cocoa.
Refrigerate over night.

Note :

  • the remaining of the lady fingers that i trimmed to fit into the square pan is squashed to crumbs-like texture. i use these crumbs to fill the holes in between the lady fingers that have been arranged in the pan

Have fun making!

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