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27 August 2011

Thank You, Nuffnang. Shoutout to TGV Cinemas. Happy 3rd Birthday to treasure memories

27 Aug 11

As usual, I check my personal emails on daily basis. I've got a mail ... and it's from Nuffnang that sounds like this.

Dear Nuffnanger,

Happy birthday from all of us at Nuffnang and the good people at TGV Cinemas!

As part of the TGV Birthday Surprise for Nuffnangers, you've been selected to receive FOUR (4) complimentary passes for any movie* at TGV Cinemas outlets nationwide, which we hope will make your birthday a special one indeed :)

It was a pleasant surprise. Hubby dropped me at Nuffnang office located at Heritage House, Jalan Yap Ah Shak. It was awesome to receive these 4 complimentary passes from TGV Cinemas.

During the Nuzul Quran public holiday on 17 Aug, we decided to take the kids out for movie. Jared wanted to watch Transformer. We checked on the Internet and KLCC TGV has Transformer movie showing on the suitable time slot for us.

We had lunch at KLCC food court.
Magnificent view from KLCC food court.

We watched the 12.30pm show of Transformer. It was a 2.5 hours show. Hubby and Jared enjoyed the movie but it was too long for Jaden.

Thank you TGV Cinemas and Thank you Nuffnang for the birthday surprise.

August 2011 also mark the 3rd year anniversary for treasure memories. I intend to keep this blog going to capture and treasure those special memories with my love ones.

Happy 3rd Birthday to treasure memories!

17 August 2011

Cake Pop - 2nd Attempt

14 Aug 11

I've tried cake pop once and it was not a successful one. I was disappointed. I admire those cake pops by Bakerella. Her cake pops are so cute, in so many designs, shapes and colours. It looks simple too.

After browsing through website and Bakerella's posts on cake pop, I am determine to try it again ... one day. 

The one day came faster than I expected when 2/3 of my mocha cupcakes did not turn out nice. Rather than throwing them away, which is very wasteful as those cupcakes actually taste very nice, I decided to make cake pops out of the cake crumbs.

I crumble those cupcakes into a fine crumbs form into a large bowl. If the texture is too coarse, run it through a food processor.
Then, I make cream cheese frosting from the following ingredients:
  • 250g cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 113g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 200g icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Add the cream cheese frosting into cake crumbs and blend together using the back of a large spoon until well combined.

Roll mixture into 1.25″ – 1.5″ size balls and lay on baking sheet. Luckily, I have my maid to help me out and she actually did a better job than me.

Prepare chocolate for dipping. I used this dark chocolate buttons and melt them using the double boiler method.

Dip the tip of lollipop stick in a little of the melted chocolate coating and insert into the cake balls. (Insert a little less than halfway.)

Cover with aluminum foil or cling wrap and chill in refrigerator for several hours to firm up or place in freezer for about 15 minutes or leave them covered in the refrigerator overnight if the dipping is to be done on the following day.

Once firm, carefully insert cake ball into the chocolate coating by holding the lollipop stick and rotating until covered. Once covered, remove and softly tap and rotate until the excess chocolate falls off. Don’t tap too hard or the cake ball will fall off, too.

Place in a styrofoam block (preferably), or mug to dry.

I wrap each of the cake pop with a small plastic and tie them up.

Honestly, making these cake pop require lots of work and patience. The cake ball will start melting and drop on table. The result from this 2nd attempt is better than the first one. I am more prepare and have done quite a bit of reading from Bakerella's blog.

Brought a few cake pops to office for my colleagues. Wendy said its yummillicious and I brought two more for her the following day for her to share with her 2 sons.

16 August 2011

Mocha cupcakes with butter cream frosting ... back by popular demand!

13 Aug 11
My sister bought her favourite imported cocoa powder from Singapore. She gave me some and asked me to bake for her Mocha cupcakes with butter cream frosting. The last time, which was also the first time that I baked this cupcakes, I gave her some to try and she just loved them. She likes the cake being moist, with rich chocolate taste and the butter cream goes very well with the cupcake.

The following day, I woke up in the early morning and baked 2 portions of the recipe. Each portion can yield about 12 cupcakes and that won't be enough for me to go around.

Mocha Cupcakes Recipe:
  • 1 1/3 cups (160g) of all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup (1 stick/113g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • ½ cup strong brewed coffee (I used 1 tbsp of Nescafe Classic instant coffee powder mixed in half cup hot water)
  • ½ cup full cream milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  1. Mix the instant coffee powder into hot water until dissolved; set aside to cool to room temperature.
  2. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Line cupcake pan/standard-size muffin tin with paper liners.
  3. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  4. Beat the butter and both sugars together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add the egg and beat until combined.
  6. In a measuring cup, combine the milk, brewed coffee mixture and vanilla.
  7. Slowly add the flour mixture, alternating with the coffee mixture, ending with the flour mixture. 
  8. Add in chocolate chips
  9. Fill cupcake liners about 2/3 full.
  10. Bake for 17-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
  11. Cool completely before frosting cupcakes.

Butter cream Frosting:
  • 1 stick/113g salted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 stick/113g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (205 g) shortening or creamate
  • 1 tbsp Clear Vanilla extract
  • 250g icing sugar
  • 4-6 tbsp cold full cream milk
  1. Cream the butter and shortening/creamate in the bowl of an electric mixer on medium-high speed for 5 minutes. Stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl, etc
  2. Add the clear vanilla extract and combine well.
  3. Reduce the mixer speed to low and begin adding in icing sugar a little at a time, until it is mostly incorporated before adding more.
  4. After all of the icing sugar has been added and mixed thoroughly, increase the speed to medium-high and whip until fluffy, about a minute or two.
  5. Begin adding the cold milk… one tablespoon at a time, combining very well after each addition (mixer on medium-high to high speed) until it is completely incorporated, scraping the sides as necessary, until reach the desired consistency.
I find the above butter cream recipe is too much for the 12 cupcakes. I've halved the above recipe and find that the volume is just nice to decorate the 12 cupcakes. I used Wilton 1M decorating tip to make the swirls on the cupcakes.

The good news is the first batch of my cupcakes turned out very well. The bad news is the 2nd and 3rd batches of cupcakes did not turn out well. They sunk once cool off. My heart broke when I saw my cupcakes turned out that way. The good thing is I quickly remember I can put to good use the "not so nice" cupcakes.

I'll make cake pops!

Tiramisu … just the way I like it!

1 August 2011

Jared will make his request to us now and then. This time round, he wanted to eat Tiramisu. It is like pregnant woman craving for food during pregnancy. This boy of mine will crave for food during his exam time. Must be the stress from exam preparation and revisions sessions with Hubby and I.

On last Tuesday, on the way home, I saw Cake Sense around TTDI neighbourhood. I stopped by and bought a few pieces of cake … Tiramisu for Jared, Chocolate cake for Jaden and orange yogurt cake for Hubby. I was planning to eat whichever cake that they couldn’t finish. Jared finished the entire Tiramisu cake and he didn’t offer me!
I decided to bake Tiramisu cake over the weekend so that we'll have more to share. I still have 3 packets of ladyfingers at home. I’ve baked tiramisu several times now but somehow, the texture was not the way I like it. The recipe that I used called for gelatin too, which I don’t quite like.

Hubby had printed this Tiramisu recipe from Allrecipes in Jun 2001, during our courtship time when Hubby was trying to impress me. Surprisingly, I still have copy of the recipe in my baking file. What I like about this recipe from Allrecipes are the egg yolks were cooked over double boiler and the recipe does not use gelatin.

I had been searching for glasses suitable for tiramisu, something that is not too big and not too small and also not too high that I can keep in my fridge. Finally, I chose the candle holders from Ikea, not to be used as candle holder but for my tiramisu.

Hubby and Jared didn’t like the cocoa powder dusting. I’ve dusted too much and too thick that they got chocked by the cocoa powder. Other than that, the taste was great and the texture was just right … just the way I like it! Hubby gave 9.5 points. He deducted 0.5 point for the cocoa powder dusting that was too thick.
Last week, Aunty YC bought this pizza book for me. Coincidentally, Hubby suggested to have pizza for lunch on Sunday. I made 2 big trays of Pizza (for my sister) and 2 medium trays of Pizza for my family.
The pizzas were great. After pizza for lunch, Hubby had Tiramisu and his favourite coffee for dessert. It is Italian day at home.

I brought 3 glasses of Tiramisu to office. My colleagues loved them. Fei Yin and Wendy asked for the recipe.

I would like to share the Tiramisu recipe here since it was just the way I like it. I can also refer to it now and then. I’ve made some changes to the recipe as the mascarpone cheese tub that I bought was only 250g and not 280g as originally asked for. I've also incorporated some changes by combining other Tiramisu recipe that I like.

• 6 egg yolks
• 225 g white sugar
• 250 g mascarpone cheese (RM18.50)
• 400 ml heavy whipping cream
   (RM15.00 for Anchor 1 litre pack)
• 1 tbsp Kahlua
• 2 packets of ladyfingers / sponge fingers
   (RM8.80 for a pack of 4 rows)

Coffee flavored liqueur:
• 2 tbsps instant coffee powder
• 4 tbsps caster sugar
• 90 ml hot water
• 90 ml Kahlua

 • Cocoa powder for dusting

  1. Combine egg yolks and sugar in the top of a double boiler, over boiling water. Reduce heat to low, and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring constantly.
  2. Remove from heat and whip yolks until thick and lemon colored.
  3. Add mascarpone to whipped yolks. Beat until combined.
  4. In a separate bowl, whip cream to stiff peaks.
  5. Gently fold into yolk mixture.
  6. Add in Kahlua and set aside.
  7. Split the lady fingers in half, soak in coffee flavored liqueur and line the bottom and sides of a large glass bowl. In my case, I used small glasses for individual serving.
  8. Spoon cream filling over the lady fingers.
  9. Repeat ladyfingers and filling layers.
  10. Refrigerate several hours until set or overnight.
  11. Dust with cocoa powder before serving. 
The above recipe can yield 20 glasses (Ikea candle holder) of Tiramisu.

Hubby and Jaden on skyppe with his sister who is in US while I was busy admiring my creation.