31 July 2013

Dark Brown Sugar Swiss Roll with Raspberries

Recently many blogger baking roulade and I'm joining the fun to make one too :) This is my first time trying out a inner-roll-out (外卷) roll. Thinking of clearing some of my frozen mixed berries, I added a few frozen raspberries in the middle of the roll...it was a bad decision as the frozen raspberries "melt" or "sweat" :( 

I need to "flip" the roll to one side to hide the ugly sight when shooting the photos. No next time for frozen fruits in the roulade or I shouldn't cut the roll when the filling not yet set?!

For the roll, I'm using a recipe from Okashi, sweet treats made with love. As for the filling is just whipping cream. A nice tea cake for this afternoon!

Recipe from Okashi, sweet treats made with love, page 86.

Ingredients for whipping cream:
200g whipping cream
15g sugar

1. Combine ingredients in a clean bowl. Place bowl over another one filled with ice cubes and water.
2. Using electric mixer, whip cream on medium speed until stiff peaks form but cream is still smooth. 

Ingredients for sponge:
40g pastry flour (used 55g cake flour)
15g rice flour (omitted)
40g unsalted butted, melted
70g dark brown sugar
140g or 4 egg whites
20g Castor sugar
90g or 5 egg yolks

1. Preheat oven to 200C (I used 175C) Sift flour twice. Line baking tray with parchment paper.
2. Make meringue. Place egg whites in a mixing bowl, beat until foamy. Add Castor sugar and one third brown sugar mixture and continue beating for a few mins, then add remaining brown sugar mixture and beat until egg whites are glossy and stiff peaks form. 
3. Add egg yolks (one at a time), fold lightly. Add flour and fold gently with a spatula, then add hot melted butter and fold through. Pour batter into prepared baking tray and spread evenly with scraper. Bake for 10-13 mins (depends on your oven)
4. When cake is done, lift cake from baking tray, let it cool completely.
5. To assemble, whip whipping cream until light and fluffy using an electric mixer. Turn cooled sponge onto a clean work surface. Peel off the parchment paper from the bottom of the sponge. Spread a layer of whipped cream over the sponge. 
6. Gently roll up the sponge to make a Swiss roll. Chill in the freezer to allow the Swiss roll to set. Slice into even pieces before serving.

29 July 2013

Gewurzhaus Herb & Spice Merchants

Today I would like to share with you a shop I discovered while I went for shopping in Melbourne City. Gewurzhaus Herb and Spice Merchants located at The Block Arcade, Collins Street, they have many types of herbs and spices ranging from Asian to European! Gewurzhaus in Melbourne City is one of their three branches, they have another two in Carlton and Hawksburn Village. You may find out more from their website.

I bought three type of spices and two type of salt just for trying out. Is my first time seeing Black Lava Sea Salt and Persian Blue Salt. According to Gewurzhaus, Persian Blue Salt is One of the rarest salts in the world, it is harvested from an ancient salt lake in Iran, I have tried some of it, it has an intense salty flavour, very different from the normal salt we use. For the Black Lava Sea Salt, it's really black like charcoal. According to Gewurzhaus the Black Lava Sea Salt is initially white and then activated with charcoal from volcanic areas in Cyprus which turned it into black. 

Another nice things of the day is adding cookbooks into my bookshelves :) The below three all from Dymocks which is the biggest bookstores in Melbourne, but the size is really unable to compare to Kinokuniya at Singapore. 

26 July 2013

Banana Walnut Bread: Cook like Curtis Stone

Don't be surprise, we are able to buy banana even during the cold winter! of course it comes with a price which is much more than what we paid in Singapore. Looking at the ripen bananas, Ann's post on Banana Walnut Bread comes at the right time, I know Ann's cake is always delicious and lovely! This time she is using Curtis Stone's recipe which she recommended as a keeper, I swing into action to bake one today and...wow! the texture of the bread/cake is so soft and fragrant that I can't stop at one slice!!

As I'm running out of white sugar, I'm using the brown sugar in this recipe.

Recipe adapted from Anncoo Journal (original from Curtis Stone)
200g plain flour
1 tsp baking soda (omitted)
1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs (70g each)
150g sugar (used brown sugar)
85g vegetable oil
300g ripe banana, mashed
2 tbsp natural yogurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
100g walnuts, toasted and chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 350F/175°C (mine 160C). Butter 1 (9- by 5- by 3-inch) metal loaf pan, then dust with flour, knocking out excess.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt into a bowl.
  3. Beat together eggs and brown sugar in bowl of electric mixer at medium-high speed until very thick and pale and mixture forms a ribbon when beater is lifted, about 10 minutes. Reduce speed to low and add oil in a slow stream, mixing, then mix in bananas, yogurt, and vanilla. Remove bowl from mixer and fold in flour mixture and walnuts gently but thoroughly.
  4. Pour the batter into the loaf pan, spreading evenly, and bake in middle of oven until golden brown and a wooden pick or skewer comes out clean, 1 to 1 1/4 hours. (mine 55 mins)
  5. Cool loaf in pan on a rack 10 minutes, then turn out onto rack. Turn loaf right side up and cool completely.

This post is linked to Cook Like A Star, where this month's featured chef is Curtis Stone, an event organized by Zoe from Bake For Happy Kids together with co-hosts,

24 July 2013

Croque Monsieur

Have you ever try a Croque Monsieur? Basically it is a French cruises of grilled ham with cheese sandwich in Bechamel sauce (a white sauce, is made with a roux of butter and flour cooked in milk). Recently, I have tried out one which I think is a super one at Zimt Patisserie Bakery Cafe at Surrey Hills. The texture of its Bechamel sauce tricked me to think that I'm eating a tofu texture, so soft and silky with the taste of milk and the cheese in it is so subtle that you wouldn't notice it exist! The used of Gruyere cheese is one of the key to its taste.

I tried to replicate one at home using the recipe from Foodnetwork with minor modifications, and I only used 1/4 of the recipe because the original recipe is for 16 slices of breads. The end result is lovely but the texture of the Bechamel sauce is not the one which I tried at Zimt Patisserie Bakery Cafe :( I did some research on the Bechamel sauce, there is website mentioned about the control of the butter, flour which will determine the thickness of the sauce, well, I need to try out more if I need to get the same as the Croque Monsieur at Zimt!  

Recipe adapted from Foodnetwork
(used 1/4 of the recipe to make 4 slices or 2 serving)
2 tbsp unsalted butter (used 1 tbsp)
3 tbsp all purpose flour (used 1 tbsp)
2 cups hot milk (used 80ml)
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
a pinch of nutmeg
5 cups Gruyere cheese, grated (used 150g)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
16 slices white sandwich bread, crusts removed (used 4 slices with crusts on)
Dijon mustard (used honey mustard)
some ham, sliced (used 4 slices)

1. Preheat oven to 220C.
2. Melt the butter over low heat in a small saucepan and add the flour all at once, stirring with a wooden spoon for 2 mins. Slowly pour the hot milk into the butter flour mixture. Cook, whisk constantly until the sauce is thickened. Off the heat and add salt, pepper and nutmeg, 1/2 of the Gruyere cheese, the Parmesan and set aside.
3. To toast the bread, place bread on the baking sheets and bake for 5 mins.
4. Lightly brush half the toasted bread with mustard, add slice ham and sprinkle with half the remaining Gruyere cheese.
5. Top the bread with another piece of toasted bread. Slather the tops with the Bechamel Sauce. Sprinkle with remaining Gruyere Cheese and bake the sandwich for 5 mins. 

Note: I didn't follow how it assembled the sandwich, I just place a piece of toasted bread, brush with mustard, top with ham, top with Bechamel sauce, then a piece of ham, top with more Bechamel sauce and another piece of toasted bread. Sprinkle remaining Gruyere cheese on top.  

17 July 2013

Parmesan Cheese Bread (straight dough method)

My last bake on bread was on Marble Chocolate Wheel Bread it was nearly 9 months ago! As bread making needs long proofing time that's make me keep delaying making one. Today I tried to make one when Gabriel is at school, hopefully I can brush up my bread making skills. 

The taste of this bread is really delicious, adding of whipping cream in the bread does produces soft bread texture, Gabriel gobble up two pieces after he came back from school!  I'm using the recipe from Joceline, a bread recipe which lot of bloggers are using. 

Recipe from Joceline of Butter. Flour and Me 
300g high protein flour (used 350g)
50g yellow sugar
2g salt
200g whipping cream
20g butter
5g instant dried yeast

grated parmesan cheese/sugar

1. Mix all the ingredients together, knead until smooth. Proof for an hour.
2. Paunch out the air, divide the dough into 9 pieces, let the bread dough rest for 10 mins.
3.  Flatten the dough ball with rolling pin, roll the dough up swiss roll style. Flatten again and roll up for another two times.
4. Seam side down, place the dough balls in the lines baking tray.
5. Cover the dough and let it proof for another 45 mins.
6. Sprinkle some grated parmesan. Place in the pre-heated oven at 170C bake for 20 mins. 
7. Sprinkle with some sugar once the bread is out from oven. 

16 July 2013

Mt. Baw Baw and Tanjil Bren

We were blessed with snow last week when we went to Mt. Baw Baw, it was Gabriel first encountered with snow. The first day the snow wasn't very thick but it was enough for tobogganing, the second day we saw white everywhere and Gabriel was blessed to see snowing for the first time in his life! However, if you check on the live cam on Mt. Baw Baw now, the snow had gone...really can't imaging it was covered with snow one week ago!

As the trip was planned in the last minutes, we didn't manage to get the accommodation at Mt. Baw Baw, luckily we were able to get one at Tanjil Bren, Moosehead Lodge, it was a 16km drive to Mt. Baw Baw. AUD$340 for a 6 pax. one night stay. Moosehead Lodge is self contains with kitchen, toilet facilities and the best part of it is the heating system is using big slow combustion wood burner! Is amazing how effective the wood burner heating system is if compared to the modern heating system! 

The Moosehead Lodge is surrounded by big gum trees, it has beautiful view overlooking the valley of the mountains. Bird watching is one of the outdoor activities, with bird feeding seeds in hands they are not afraid to come up-close to you, not sure of the bird's name but you are able to find stunning combination of colours on their feathers, we saw blue-orange birds, and the below one was with red-green feathers. 

...and there is no Wii-Fi connection, no telephone, the power is by solar system and some of the light are using gas, forget all the electric equipment because the power voltage is just 12V. Go and experience it, is refreshing for the soul! 

A view from the window, is beautiful! 

Dinner bell! 

Is snowing! He was so amaze by the snow! 

Happy sliding down the hill with toboggan! 

Laying on the snow, feel so happy!

Kelly's Cafe, a simple cafe with creative design, I love their pumpkin soup to go with bread. It is in the middle of Mt. Baw Baw. If you want more from a meal, The Village Restaurant at the entrance of Mt. Baw Baw will be a better choice, it offers spectacular views and also takes booking for special occasions such as conferences and weddings.