Friday 29 October 2010

Purple Sweet Potatoes Chiffon

This must be the longest October for me.

I spent the first two weeks of the month sourcing for renovation contractors, reading up on renovation, visiting tile shops to select tiles, shopping around for lighting, bathroom sanitary ware, cooker hobs, oven, etc, etc. This is in preparation for my upcoming renovation of our house. The next two weeks were spent packing, packing and packing. On top of that, it was an anxious week when my elder son took the PSLE examination. I am glad that all went well, but before I could take a breather, it was soon my younger child's turn to sit for the year end school examination! Finally, his exam is over today. I am not done with packing yet...I still have to conquer the kitchen...which I have no choice but to leave to the last.

Anyway, I miss I am here to share with you yet another chiffon cake recipe, before I dismantle my desktop computer and pack it into boxes.

This chiffon cake was made with purple sweet potatoes. I have came across two types of purple sweet of which comes with purple skin but the inside is yellow...and the other with both skin and the inside purple. This chiffon cake was made with the latter. It was by chance that I bought a bag of purple sweet potatoes. I actually wanted to get some spring onions and nothing else...but I was too shy to ask the stall owner. So I looked around and spotted the sweet the end I only paid for the sweet potatoes and the stall owner gave me the spring onions for free (^^')

There was no surprises when I went about preparing this chiffon cake. Although I must say, it was like attending some Chemistry lesson. I was amazed that the egg yolk batter, which was a deep purple because of the sweet potatoes, turn into a pretty pinkish batter the moment the few drops of lemon juice was added to it!

After the past few experiments in making chiffon cakes, I was quite satisfied with how this one turn out. The cake rose well in the oven, and it didn't shrink too much upon cooling :)

A few readers have asked me how I managed to unmold my chiffon cake nicely.  This time, I made it a point to take step by step photos to show all of you. I guess, the trick is to use a very thin bladed knife. When running the knife inside the cake pan, try to slide the knife as close to the inside of the pan, avoid slicing the cake crumb. I am not sure whether it is because of the quality or the type of cake pan that I am using, I am able to remove the cake effortlessly, without creating any mess. See photo 3 above...upon unmolding, there were not much crumbs left inside the pan.

I think it is also the type of cake pan that I am using, I always end up with chiffon cakes with 'pork-floss' like crust.

This chiffon cake was very soft and moist. The crumbs was a light pink...if the lemon juice were to be omitted, the crumbs would end up dull purplish. It was a fun experiment for me! This cake tasted really good, but I would still rank that banana chiffon cake as the best chiffon cake I have ever made ;)

I won't be sharing any baking post for the next two months as my kitchen is officially closed for renovation starting from today. However, I will still try to update my blog...but it will probably on the progress of my renovation or the holiday trips that we have planned.

Wednesday 6 October 2010

dessert in a toast box

十月六日...对很多人来说,只是一个普通的日子。不过今天对我的老大来说却是个大日子。今天是小六会考的第一天!真相希望他在考场能够有所发挥 :)

It's the start of the PSLE today. In a week's time, the examination will be over, and it also means that my elder child would have completed his 6 years of primary school education. How time flies! While I was packing up our old photo albums, I couldn't help but laughed at how cute he looked when he was in primary one ;)

As the examination drew closer, I found myself more relaxed. I believe I have finally reached the S4 level as a 'leader' based on the Situational Leadership model (by Kenneth Blanchard and Paul Hersey) and my child as a 'follower' has moved to the D4 level (someone with high competence, high commitment – experienced at the job, and comfortable with their own ability to do it well, may even be more skilled than the leader.)

Two months ago, I noticed my elder child began to pick up momentum in his preparation for the exam. He demonstrated a zealous attitude in wanting to do well...he planned out his revision schedule and time tables, and even set his own targets for each subject. I didn't even have to sit down side by side with him to go through his work. He did his revision mostly by himself. Whenever I felt guilty, I would spend a few moments of my time just to check that he was doing ok on his own. When it was down to 4 weeks before the D-day, I was too preoccupied with the planning of my home renovation. I am glad that without my close supervision, he was still able to study hard, real hard, I must say, for he is still a child. Sometimes, I even joked that it was as though he was preparing for some university entrance will be amazed with the piles and stacks of files, assessment books, etc, lying all over our house. As the day drew even closer, I found myself giving him lots of hugs everyday...I am so pleased with his learning attitude. My role as a 'coach' now, is to keep encouraging and assuring him that he will be fine. Very often, he worries that he won't pass with good grades...he lacks self-confidence. So I have to tell him, with the effort he has put in, I am sure even if the end result is not as expected, he won't live with regrets. I hope he understand what I meant when I told him..."The process is more important than the results. Some other people may think otherwise, but to mama, your learning attitude is more important than anything else, and I want you to hold these values with you all the way to your adulthood." I know very well his limits and potential. I don't expect him to pass with flying colours (it will be a miracle), but I am assured that he won't do too badly either. What more can I ask for?

On a lighter note, I will like to share with you this sweet treat...Dessert in a Toast Box! I happened to chance upon a video clip when I was looking for recipes on how to make Korean mochi buns. This is something so interested that I wasted no time to try it once I managed to bake a decent homemade pullman loaf.

It is basically a bread 'box' topped with fruits and scoops of ice cream. Inside the 'box' are layers of toasted bread 'cubes' drizzled with honey. I also topped it with some homemade breakfast granola. Sounds delicious isn't it?! I have tried with both a plain white loaf and a wholemeal bread...both are equally good. I hope the instructions I have posted below is clear enough...and if you happen to try it, I am sure you will have fun both preparing and eating it!

Friday 1 October 2010

Sweet Treat

Dear Reader,

Here's wishing you a Happy Children's Day :)

Children's Day is a good time to remind ourselves that we were once kids, and we should take this opportunity to recapture our childhood innocence, shouldn't we?

This year, it will be the last day we are celebrating Children’s Day on 1st October. Starting from 2011, Children’s Day will be celebrated on the first Friday of October instead. The rationale is to offer an extended weekend to students and to give parents more time to spend with their children :)

After a fun-filled day in school, my kids were still in a merry-making mood...and upon their request, I made them some caramel popcorns for their afternoon treat.

This is not the first time I am making popcorn at home. I used to think that popcorn can only be made with a microwave oven...using those microwave popcorn packs. After stumbling upon some video clips sometime back, I realised that popcorn can be easily prepared with a pot over a stove. After watching the video and looking at some online recipes, I jumped head-on to pop my first bowl of popcorn. My first attempt failed miserably, there were far too many unpopped kernels left in the pot and the popcorn didn't taste as light and crispy. On my second attempt, I burnt most of the popcorn (^^'). It was only after spending 15 minutes watching a free demo session by a lady who was promoting some anodised woks in a departmental store, that I learned the correct method of popping popcorn. By following her method, almost every kernel pops, and I have not burnt any popcorn since!

The caramel for the popcorn is very simple to use need to melt some sugar in the wok before tossing in the popcorn with some grounded peanuts and sesame seeds. This is a delicious treat both children and adults would enjoy. If you ever happen to try this, I hope you will enjoy making the popcorn as much as eating it. Once again, Happy Children's Day!!!