Wednesday, 16 February 2011

1st bake of the year

I thought I have lost it....

but it came back...

I have taken a long break from blogging. It has been months since I last baked something. Even a brand new oven failed to tempt me. It was left cold, seating in the cabinet for 2 months since it was installed. It was left untouched most of the time, except for the occasional visitors...without fail, anyone who came to visit my newly renovated kitchen would open the oven door to take a peep ;)

Baking is the last thing I had in mind for the past few months. I was left alone to tackle the humongous task of packing, unpacking, shifting...not forgetting the endless 'cleaning sessions'. The entire process, has reunited me with every single corner of my house! I have also been taking my own sweet time to unpack the 30 over boxes of stuff. It could take me one whole morning to find the 'right home' for each single item in just one box. I spent quiet moments, looking through all the keepsakes which I have been keeping over the years. I am also suffering from the 'new house syndrome'...being over zealous in trying to keep the house pristine clean. I hope I am able to get over it really really soon!

All the cleaning, scrubbing, and endless chores has taken its toll on me. I was in no mood to bake anything and nothing seems to inspire me. I even harboured the idea of giving up blogging altogether. Leaving the blogosphere as quietly as I have entered it four years ago.

It was one of those spur-of-the-moment thingy when I gave the new comer a thorough clean up.  Once I turned on the oven for the first time, the 'sparks' that I have been waiting for has finally ignited my passion for baking.

My first bake of the year is this Strawberry Galette. It is nothing new to me. I tried making it when I first saw it over at Laurreen's blog, Eat and Be Happy, except that mine is a far cry from hers ;)

This strawberry galette(French free form tart) is the right choice for a first bake from a new oven. It is very simple to put together and I would say it is not that sensitive to the oven temperature as compared to a chiffon cake. I adapted the recipe from joyofbaking and replaced some of the plain flour with wholemeal ones. It is a delightful dessert, best served freshly baked over a cup of tea. You also get to enjoy the wonderful aroma when it is baking in the oven. My clueless kid came to ask me what our neighbour was cooking when he smelt something really nice from the living room. It has been so long that he has already forgotten the familiar buttery fragrance that used to fill our kitchen :')

The next time I were to make this again, I would use more strawberries, I only used slightly half a punnet, stingy me! See, there is always a 'next time'. I believe it is this exact 'next time' mentality that keeps me going. There is always something I could improve upon and done better the next time.

Strawberry Galette

125g plain flour
50g wholemeal flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon granulated white sugar
113g unsalted butter, cold, cut into small cubes
2 tablespoons ice water

1 punnet (250g) strawberries
2 tablespoons granulated white sugar
1 teaspoon corn starch

1 egg plus1 tablespoon water, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon granulated white sugar

1. Mix plain flour, wholemeal flour, sugar, and salt in a mixing bowl. With finger tips rub the cold butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. (It is important that the butter be cold so when it is cut into the flour mixture it becomes small, flour-coated crumbs. I use a fork to work the butter into the dry ingredients. If the butter starts to melt away during this process, stop and place the mixture in the freezer for 10-15 mins to prevent the butter from melting further. Continue the process when the mixture is well chilled.)

2. Add the ice water and mix until the mixture comes together to form a dough. Pat the dough into a round disc, place in a plastic bag or cover with cling wrap and leave it in the fridge for at least 1 hour to chill the butter and allow the gluten in the flour to relax.

3. Wash the strawberries, remove the stems and cut into halves or thick slices. Toss the sliced strawberries with the sugar and cornstarch.

4. To prevent the dough from sticking to work surface, roll out the chilled dough in between 2 plastic sheets or parchment papers to a 11" round. Transfer the pastry to a baking tray lined with parchment paper.

5. Layer the strawberries, overlapping each other in a circle on the dough, leaving a 1"~2" border. Fold the edges over the strawberries. Brush the dough with egg wash. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of sugar. Bake in preheated oven at 200degC for 20 to 25 minutes or until the crust is golden browned.

Recipe source: adapted from and very inspired by Eat and Be Happy.


  1. Welcome back HHB!! glad you are back baking and posting!!! the strawberry galette looks lovely!

  2. Hi HHB, ït so so good to see you blogging again. i'm very happy to be among the first to welcome you back. In fact you were so quiet for so long that i wanted to email you just to be sure that all is well with you. You are definitely able to cope with stress and hard work very well :)
    i have learnt that it is ok to ask for help sometimes when we really needed it.
    The best of your creative baking is yet to be:))) May

  3. Hugs from far away Wisconsin, and Welcome Back! I'm sure the "sparks" will continue to fly between you and the big new "O" =)

  4. Hi HHB,
    I'm so glad to see a new bake from you! And so do the other fans of your blog, I'm sure. Hope we'll get to enjoy seeing more of your creations with your new oven! Happy CNY by the way. =D

  5. Finally! U wait until my neck long long liao! Yours is just as good, if not better ok!

  6. im so glad to read your post again! (: anyways, the bake look great and yummy to me!(: (:

  7. Welcome back! I also want to take a peep at your oven. :) I'm a little (just a little) disappointed as I was hoping to see your newly renovated kitchen here, but your strawberry galette make up for it. Keep going! :)

  8. i love love love the magazine cover look you gave your pic. Very pro! Of course, it helps cos the bake looks fantastic!

  9. Hi Jess, sorry for being MIA ;)

    Hi May, thanks for the concern :) I am very much alive and kicking ;p I was begin lazy and had no mood to blog. Actually I thought I might have offended you in somewhere through my emails and that was why I didn't hear from you anymore (^^')

    PiggyMummy, sorry for being so lazy that I didn't even leave a comment on your recent posts. Love looking though the cute bento you made for your children. Mine refused to bring packed food to school, they prefer canteen food :'(

    Hi Spear, thanks for the well wishes!

    vb, I am slowly stocking up on baking ingredients, I hope I can update my blog regularly from now on.

    Thanks Sweetylicious!

    SSB, I have problem taking photos of my camera lens is not wide enough and the photos look odd. Will try again and post it up, but I think you will be very kitchen has got nothing to boost about ^^"

    NEL, I was just playing around with the various flickr 'toys'. You can create you own from this site (, have fun :)

  10. That galette looks absolutely scrumptious! Wow! I'm sure your family and friends will be so happy you're back at baking!

  11. Glad you are back in action. I love your article above, it is a very interesting read. I am tongue tied in every manner which makes my writing an awkward read.

    Made a galette last week which even my hamster will not eat. But now, I will give it a try, after seeing your pics. Thank you for sharing.

  12. welcome bacK! since yr last post, i have been checking regularly for new post of yrs or to even have a glimpse of yr new kitchen or house. Welcome back! I will surely have miss u if u leave the blogging world!

  13. Glad to see you back! I hope this is not too late to wish you Gong Xi Fa Cai, ^^
    I know how you feel, i also busy on my new house for past two months. Oh, your 1st bake look so good and wonderful. Happy Blogging!

  14. yea you are back into action. hip hip hurray.

  15. All I want to say is welcome back. :)

  16. This is unique & pretty! Bet they are yummy~ Welcome back to blogging again HHB ! :)

  17. Haha... I know you'll be back.... just wondering when. ;) By the way, how do you find the new oven? I'm contemplating between Brandt and Bosch... have been reading forums about it but still can;t seem to make up my mind!

  18. I have the urge. I don't want to lost it, but I really need to find the time. Very tiring from all the walking in and out...

    Lovely bake .. and it is something new to me. Never ever see this before even thou I watch shows from Nigella and Rachel and Jamie.

    I also want to peep, not only the oven but your whole kitchen. I hope one day I can have you over to my house .. but must be advance booking so that I can do an overhaul. hehe.

    Happy Yuan Xiao Jie. :-)

  19. Welcome back HHB! Happy to see you back with wonderful post and beautiful pictures!Glad that your kitchen fairy is back and looking forward for more of your postings and baking.
    Lost my blogging mojo but regain back after reading your post. An inspiration, always.
    Hope your boy has settled down in his new school just like mine. Jia You!

  20. Welcome back HHB! It's been a long wait for your new post.

    This is definately gg into my to-do list... and since korean strawberries are available now, it'll probably appear in my oven very soon! LOL.

  21. hi HHB, so glad u're back!
    thks for the wonderful recipe as always - looks yum yum! :)

  22. Glad that your back again! I miss reading your posts :)

  23. Welcome Back! I always enjoy reading your blog. I think it is great that you take your time to unpack. It is unwise just to rush through and then have to "relocate" your items again.
    Looking forward to you putting up more recipes :-)

  24. welcome back! and don't leave the blogosphere because I've been stalking your blog for some time and I like reading your posts :)

  25. Hi HHB, it's good to read yr postings again, i m glad u hv abandoned e idea of giving up on blogging, tt wld b so sad 4 many of yr faithful readers out there (me included). 元宵节快乐!

  26. welcome back HHB:) guess what, after reading your 1st bake of the year... I quickly went to try the recipe and made a strawberry gallete for my hubby's birthday. He likes it! 希望能常看到你的新作品:)

  27. HHB, welcome back! I can finally sit down and visit you for a bit over here ... I myself have been busy, too ...

    Yes! It's always all those "next times" that keep me going, that keep me persist in saving something from flunking again ... 死不甘心!!!

    Boy, I baked a galette not long ago, too ... See, even my gelatinized-dough method for bread has to be written about. Well, needless to say about my plum-and-strawberry galette. LOL!

  28. Welcome Back!! :D

    Glad to see your sparks are back! I also want to take a peek at your new kitchen leh... :)

  29. HI hhb

    finally! thank god you didn't give up blogging or baking! but i understand perfectly when you said you juz didn't feel like baking after spending so much time packing your stuff... i went thru the same thing too, not due to reno or cleaning the house but it was the dreaded PSLE! incredible that an exam almost killed my passion for baking! but like u, i am back to baking now! phew!
    i didn't know such a dessert exists. sua ku me:) what is the texture of the pastry? crispy or soft? thks

  30. How nice to see you post again, I am really glad to see you back, I love your posts and recipes. The galette looks lovely!

  31. Welcome back!

  32. Great to see your 1st bake post after so long. And it's a yummy dessert to break in your new oven as well.

  33. hey HHB,

    Don't give up blogging so easily just like that. everyone will miss you. hope you'll be back to blogging regularly again soon. cheers

  34. Welcome back HHB, finally get to see your posting after a long long wait :) I wanted to see your new reno kitchen, hope you will able to post up some photos to share :p. The Strawberry Galette looks great, tempting me to have a big slice.

  35. glad you came back and didnt exit the blogging scene! i myself also though i had lost it as well but just recently starting baking heaps again :) glad all your packing is done?!
    i think im gonna give this recipe a go...i might use figs since have heaps in the fridge!

  36. Welcome back HHB ! I really miss you blogging in this space especially the story you you wrote & the yummy pictures you share. Don't give up blogging even if it a short pose or the same old recipe i believe everyone will read your blog(:

    Take care

  37. thank you for sharing the recipe. I tried baking some blueberry galette last weekend, love it and I baked another strawberry one just yesterday :)

    oh and I love your new kitchen. I think it's more than double the size of my kitchen!

  38. This looks delicious!! I have a themed linky party going on at my blog and I'd like to invite you to stop by and link up your themed treat! This week's theme is strawberries! Can't wait!

  39. I made this today! It was quite successful but I'm not too sure why the centre was not too cooked :S

  40. I think it could be due to the oven temperature...maybe you can bake it slightly longer next time.