31 January 2009

My Chinese New Year bakes

I am way, way behind my blogging. Ever since two weeks before Chinese New Year, I have been baking, almost every other day, but haven't settle down to put them down. Now while I'm waiting for my cake to be done (yes, at this hour of the night), I finally can still some time to do what I've been wanting to do. The PC has not been behaving well (can just hand out of nowhere), hopefully I can complete this blog entry without much interference.

Pineapple Tarts

Pineapple tarts is one of the items adored by lots of people during CNY, including my family. To us, a good pineapple tart must consist of smooth, melt-in-the-mouth pastry and jam that is not too sweet or dry. We also prefer the closed face tarts. Quite a few years back, I bought a big jar of pineapple tarts from Bakery Depot. Those were still the best tarts I've tasted by far. The pastry was so smooth and fine that it almost instantly melt in your mouth. I could not get these tarts anymore and am very much missing them. Since I first embarked on my pineapple tarts journey last year, I've been searching for that perfect recipe. Sad to say, I've yet to find it.

This year, I used Gina's recipe. The pastry has that melt-in-the-mouth texture after a few days, but not as smooth and fine as what I am looking for. I reckon it to be due to my imperfect skills. The recipe uses the rub-in method which I am not experienced in. Nonetheless, they're still good, though they look a bit ugly (some crack after baking). All in all, I've made a few hundreds of tarts this year for relatives and friends. I just have to do something to immerse myself in that festive mood.

My mum does not take butter, she doesn't like the buttery smell (which I adore). So I make another batch using margarine. The dough was much more difficult to handle than the butter dough, it was super soft for a closed tart. But the end product was closer to what I am looking for, the pastry is finer in texture.

Lapis Cake

This year I made a lapis cake as well, but more for our own consumption. The original plan was to make this as part of practice (I've long forgotten what I did last year) and the actual ones nearer to the CNY. But when it got nearer, I got so busy that I just couldn't make another. I used the same recipe as last year. Taste and texture are right, but thickness is far from ideal. Definitely needs more practice.

Other cookies

This year I did two more new cookies. One was the Black Sesame Cookies. I had a pack of ground black sesame lying in my fridge, so I went searching for a recipe. Found one on the net and decided to try it. The result wasn't that fascinating, not my type of cookies as they're quite crunchy. I like cookies that are lighter in texture.

The other one that I tried was the Honey Cornflakes cookies. My new neighbor, Aggie, gave me a box this year and I immediately fell in love with them. Hers were so crispy, even after a few weeks. Don't be tricked, these little cookies don't look as foolproof as what they seem, unless you've got a right recipe. Mine turned out to be a flop. Too much honey, so they lost the crunch very soon and started flooding in their little cups. :( I'll probably try this again one day.

Before I end off, these are what I did in mid-Jan.

The above was a little Peach Marshmellow cake for my niece, Claire's birthday. I couldn't do a very elaborated cake as I was busy with the CNY bakes. I hope she's enjoyed it just as well.

With the remaining ingredients, I did another mini cake. The butterfly is not as prominent after the jelly is in. I had fun creating this little project.



It's already 2:20am in the morning. I think I should turn in before my panda eyes get worse. Although it's a little late, here's wishing all my cyber friends out there, a very Happy Ox Year! May this year be a peaceful and healthy year for all of us.

Mood: Sleepy


Yuri said...

hey WF, welcome back to blogging. the 2 cakes look very good, very creative of you.

Rei said...

The cakes look lovely!

gina said...

oy WF, sorry couldn't answer your SMS that day. had my fingers in pastry making! my mom's recipe is good for the initial 5 days. After which, I often reheat it to toast it a bit to crisp it up. That is why I figured out must cook the jam till its a bit WET not dry. it helps to keep the pastry melt in the mouth.

gina said...

ohh..I love your marshmellow cake..very pretty. Can make one for me? *hint**

KWF said...

Thanks, girls for your lovely comments.