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Some friends are godsend. I’m truly blessed in this aspect because there are a few of them whom i can turn to whenever i need to. These friends, i’m always me when i hang out with them — jolly, bubbly, clownish, cheeky *yeah, finally admitting i’m one!* and always LOL like a man.. hahahahaha! I do not need to be prim and proper whenever i’m with them… (psstt : many others think i’m a girlie girl but oh lawdyy.. if only they knew. teeheeheee!)

1.5 years ago, a good friend brought me a packet of chestnut flour from France knowing how passionate i am in baking, Different baking ingredient, she said. And man, it sure was different! I had to google and google for recipes to use up this exotic flour. Grin. After reading through a few recipes in French  — thank gawwddd for Google Translate, i came to this bake – Chocolate Chestnut Flour Muffin. Muffin! Chocolate! I was pretty darn sure that the gf’s little girls would love it and i *think* i was quite spot on.. for the girls ate them up right after lunch despite their mommy’s earlier instruction, Save it for tea later, girls!

Hurhurhur.

Chocolate Chestnut Flour Muffin

makes 16 muffins or 8-9 giant ones

1 cup (115 g) chestnut flour
2 cups (230 g) white flour
150g sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1 pinch salt
2 cups (500 ml) milk
2/3 cup (170 g) butter, melted
2 eggs
2-3 handfuls of chocolate chips

Method
1. In a bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Add the chocolate chips.
2. In another bowl, beat eggs with a whisk, add the milk and melted butter. Mix well.
3. Stir egg + milk + butter to flour mixture and whisk until the mixture is smooth.
4. Pour into greased muffin pan and bake 20 minutes in the oven at 375 º F (190 º C) or until toothpick inserted in center of a muffin comes out clean and dry.
5. Allow to cool before removing from pan and store in an airtight container.

(adapted from here)

So how was the chestnut flour?

Funky.

Yup.. that’s right, funky! Almost smokey even, and nutty too but definitely funky. It took a while to get use to it but once you do, it’s rather addictive because it’s just so different that you wanna eat it again and again and again just to decipher or decode the new taste on the taste bud? Hahaa! Do i make any sense at all? Lol! But the strange thing is the muffin tasted almost normal the next day, no longer funky and smokey but nutty, yes. Hmmm…

Tips to make muffins with love handle! (Muffin tops)

I have always been fascinated by big ass muffins with huge tops. I ADORE THEM TO BITS. I don’t even cut them out to eat, i merely use my hand or chomp them off just like that. Hee! These tops are usually crisp on the outside, moist and tender in the inside. What’s not to love?

So i did a bit reading on my own and experimented another batch with my new-found knowledge. And. It worked!

What you need to do :

1. fill up your muffin cases to the brim and slightly more. if your batter is runny, let it sit out for at least 15-30 mins to thicken up a little (found this out by accident when i procrastinated. grin. so, procrastination isn’t an entirely bad thing after all. :P) before you fill up the cases.

2. instead of filling up your muffin pans with 12 cases (i assume everyone uses a 12-hole muffin pans), fill up only 6, with an empty hole in between, for space — you won’t want your muffins’ tops sticking together.

3. grease the entire top of your muffin pans.

4. turn up the heat – preheat your oven to 200-220c for at least 15 mins. Bake your muffins in this temperature for at least 5-10 mins before lowering the heat to the usual (in my case, 150c) for the rest of the baking time.

5. last but not least, have fun!

Good luck!

*photo taken with the phone

I have made chocolate truffle just once in this entire life of mine and trust me, i got traumatized. So difficult to shape!

Sometime last week, i decided to give chocolate truffle another go, with a different recipe no less. I read up a couple of recipes before deciding on this particular recipe which in my humble opinion, seemed pretty solid because of one additional ingredient. And guess what? Molding these chocolates was as easy as ABC! By the way, i didn’t even have to use my hands. All i did was scrapped the hardened chocolate with spoon, threw all of them into a plate of cocoa powder, gave them a roll or 2 and viola!

So simple but oh so orgasmic (and affordable too!) these wicked stuff! <3

Chocolate Truffle

(makes 30)

227 g good dark chocolate – i used 76%
120ml whipping cream
28g unsalted butter
2 tbsp alcohol, optional

Coating for chocolate

cocoa powder, toasted nuts, tempered chocolate, shaved chocolate, coconut flakes

Method

1. Place the chocolate in a bowl. Set aside. Heat cream and butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to just boil. Immediately pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and allow to stand for a minute or 2. Stir with a rubber spatula till smooth. If desired, add liqueur. Cover and place in the fridge until the mixture is firm.
2. Shape anyway you fancy. Roll them, slice them, scoop them. But immediately roll the truffle in the coating, cover and refrigerate until firm. These truffles can last for a couple of weeks or frozen for a couple of months.

(recipe from Joybaking)

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No price for guessing what i’d be making this Sunday night! ;)

pssttt : my entire box got emptied out in less than a week and i actually doubled the recipe! Horrors!!

Previous attempt on Chocolate Truffle here.

Just when i have some spare time to blog today, the internet decided to get all wonky!

HMPH!

Computer restarted once, modem restarted more than three times but nothing is working. *turns and stares at the modem* Grreattt! The indicator is not even blinking anymore.

<<30 minutes later>>

Yay!

Managed to upload all 3 photos. :)

I baked this sometime back in August, as a thank you gift, to someone nice who lent me his 35mm Nikkor lens for my recent trip to Korea. If you are reading this, THANK YOU and of course, to your lovely wife too!

I had quite a bit of egg whites left in the fridge then + i’ve got some yummy baking chocolate from sweet LadyJ who lugged it all the way from Switzerland for me!

Initially, i wanted to whip up a batch of macarons, but in the end, i decided against it because i had only an hour to spare before i rushed out to deliver the goodie. Yup, the receiver received this when it was still warm. Best time to dig in with a scoop of ice cream eh? Heh. Instead of baking the financier in their original gold bar shape, i thought for this one time, using a cake pan would be more appropriate, especially as a gift.

Double Chocolate Financier

169g unsalted butter
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 large egg whites (228g), room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup finely ground blanched almonds
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

Method

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 7-inch square cake pans. Line bottoms with parchment or waxed paper round. Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook until light brown, swirling pan occasionally, about 5 minutes. Cool.

2. Meanwhile, sift flour, cocoa, and salt into medium bowl. Whisk egg whites in large bowl to blend. Add sugar; whisk to blend. Whisk in corn syrup and vanilla. Add flour mixture; whisk just to blend. Add ground almonds; whisk just to blend. Using whisk, fold in browned butter, then chopped chocolate.

3. Bake cakes until firm to touch and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 23 minutes. Cool cakes on rack 5 minutes. Invert cakes onto rack; peel off paper. Cool completely.

Recipe source : Epicurious.

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I love this financier whole heartedly.

Rich, chocolate & more chocolates, zero egg yolks, almost flourless and very nutty… man, this was good. And oh, no mixer required too! How cool is that??

So if you are stuck with more than 6 egg whites, do consider baking this. I bet this will be something you will churn out more than once, really. ;)

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