22 November 2011

Happy Tuesday~!

Slept rather late last night, coz I had a sudden craving for "Red Velvet Cupcakes!" First time I ever tried them was at 'Cupcake Bakery' and omg they're good! Essentially, it's a Vanilla Sponge cake with a hint of chocolate (coz u have to add a little bit of cocoa powder)...and it is known for its pretty red colour! (as u can see below in my mixture...)

And since its not really possible to go shopping for cupcakes at 2am, I thought that i'd make them nice and earli in the morning! (just to realise..I didnt have half the ingredients at home!)
OK! So...its been quite a good few weeks, since i've woken up soooo sooo earli!! (7:30 now that's pretti earli for me these days!X) ) Drove to Woolies to buy sum buttermilk...yes i HAD TO use buttermilk coz apparently it is what makes Red Velvet cakes so fluffy and yummy and spongy and yeh! :D

So after my trip to Woolies...getting buttermilk, eggs, sugar, flour (all da typical stuff) I got home all excited and started baking!...just to realise that I forgot to buy Cream Cheese......FAIL!:(:(:( What's a Red Velvet cake without the Cream Cheese Frosting! I was so desperate I ended up power walking to the petrol station near my house whilst the cupcakes were in the oven..I only had 10 min, to go there and back or my house would probably b burnt down!

Sadly, they didn't have any....I gave up and ended up heading to the ct instead to eat lunch..cupcakes....would finish later....

Walked past Jamie Oliver's Italian restaurant a couple of times, but the lines were always so crazy! Ended up lining up for 1 hr today~! Got given a buzzer and during that hour I just went to Dymocks and bought a cakeee booook !!!!!!! Huppy Huppy MEEEE X)

The food was YUMMMYYYY...ordered a starter...Arancini balls, which is like Risotto b
alls coated in a batter and then deep fried....so yummy:)! Took them
a while to get our mains out though which annoyed me! But...it was worth the wait! Had a Prawn Linguini and a Truffle Risotto. Ordered a large risotto...but I suggest you just order the entree serve if u're not that hungry coz its quite rich and creamy and can make u sick if u eat too much!...but the truffle oil smell was so strong and amazing!

So basically, lesson learnt is that if you're in a hurry...DO NOT GO TO THIS RESTAURANT..but otherwise by all means go try it! The quality is reli reli gud! (but obviously, that just means that it leans towards the pricey side)

So after my tummy satisfying meal, I bought my cream cheese and rushed home to complete my cupcakes!!! Mixed the cream cheese frosting with icing sugar and double cream (which is a much much better cream than normal cream..coz it thickens up and is a lot more creamier!)..oo...remember to add a bit of Vanilla Extract!

And VOILA! <3 Piped the cream cheese frosting onto the cupcakes I made in the morning....YUMMYYYY :D

Busy busy but awesome day! Now time to nap.....GUDNITE!

21 November 2011

My newly bought happiness

HULLOooo ! Yippeeeeeeee! Chloe has a new toy!!! 

 After months of waiting and wondering which pretty new camera I should buy, I ended up getting the Canon 600d this morning. It's so new and pretty that I'm scared to touch it with my oily fingers.

So why canon? Apart from the fact that it starts with a 'C' and it has the same number of letters as my name... I dunno its hard to explain, it just felt right when I held it...... Lol. I don't know much about cameras, but this one seemed pretty self explanatory and simple to use for a first time DSLR owner. I really like the turny screen at the back, it makes it easy to take pictures of myself and pictures of others too without them realising, hehe x) 

I'm tired from being excited. Hehe, I was going to clean my room but ended up taking some photos in my backyard. 

I love the colours. Can't wait to take more photos when the weather clears up :D 

19 November 2011



It's that time of the month again...


Okay so this time, I decided to be adventurous and make some Oreo  flavoured macarons, he he he. But it was boring to just have one flavour. So I made some passionfruit ones too. I also experimented with the aging of eggwhites and guess what? It turns out YOU DONT NEED TO AGE THEM!

Below is the first batch I made this morning at 10am? So apparently I was still half asleep cause these turned out real ugly. These eggwhites were aged for about 2 days, but I poured in the syrup too fast and it got all clumpy and wouldn't squeeze out of the piping bag so I played with it for too long and the mixture got runny :(

Okay, feeling a little sad after my first batch failed... I had to make another one to cheer myself up. This time was slightly better, but the shells were too fragile and crumbled at my touch, AAAAAARGH!! This time, I didn't heat the syrup for long enough so the meringue didn't form properly. Damn eggwhites...

3rd time lucky. Feeling pretty depressed by this point, I was angry and just wanted to get it right :( I didn't age the eggwhites for these, its all about the quality of your meringue so concentrate and wake up!

Anywho, since i'm all for spreading the love, I'll share the recipe I used to make them. This recipe was adapted from a couple of blogsites including Tartlette and .... I can't remember the others, oh and just some notes I took from previous batches.


Just so you know though, this is just a recipe I've kinda patched together so it's a little dodgy, but it works for me... sometimes. Also, you'll need to leave plenty of time for these, they really can't be rushed or they'll look like wrinkled toes when they're baked, LoL.

Warning: These funny looking biscuits are addictive to make and come with lots of chloe-sterol, ha ha ha . 

Step by step recipe for  macarons with oreo buttercream.  

Using the Italian Meringue method. 


1. Meringue (A)

50g egg whites
a pinch of salt
Cream of tartar (optional)
Sugar syrup- 150g sugar and 50g of water.
35g Caster sugar (For making your shells shiny)

2. The almond meal mixture (B)

150g Almond meal
150g Icing Sugar
50g eggwhites
Food colouring of choice

Other pretty things
A candy thermometer if you have one

Passionfruit ganache filling

2 teaspoons of cornflour
1/4 cup passionfruit puree (you can buy this from woolies)
50g of white chocolate- or more depending on how thick you want it
3 tablespoons of unsalted butter

1. In a small saucepan, heat the passionfruit puree and cornflour till it dissolves and becomes a thick mixture.
2. Add in the cream and keep stirring. When it's bubbling at the sides, remove from the heat and whisk in the white chocolate until melted. Let it cool slightly and then whisk in your butter. Refrigerate until use.

Oreo buttercream filling: (weird measurements cause I split the original one to minimise wastage)

1 egg yolk
1/4 cup of caster sugar
1/4 stick of butter - I use the western star unsalted butter.
1/12 cup of water - yeah i know how the hell do you even measure this!? I dunno, guestimate!
10 smashed oreos, finely smashed.

  1. Crush about 8 oreos finely.
  2. Place the egg yolk in a stand mixer, or using a hand held one whisk on medium speed. 
  3. Bring the sugar and water to almost boiling, set over high heat... slowly pour the hot syrup over the egg yolks and continue to whisk until cold. 
  4. Beat in the butter, bits at a time.
  5. Mix in your crushed oreos.
  6. Leave in room temperature until you're ready to pipe them, this will harden in the fridge.

And now to prepare your macaron shells......... 

The night before: Okay, I suck at baking under pressure so I like to make the fillings the night before. Most ganaches and need a good few hours in the fridge to be ready for use anyway.
If your almond meal feels damp then you can weigh your 150g and bake it for about 10 minutes at 150 to shoo away the moisture in order to make prettier shells. :)
Sift the almond meal and the icing sugar together, or put everything into a food processor - but i dont have one so i sift, *insert sadface here*.

To make the shells:  

  1.  Weigh out 35g of sugar for the meringue and 150g of sugar for the syrup. Leave aside.
  2. Get your baking trays ready, line them with baking paper, or silicon mats if you have them ( i don't but I will be getting some soon.....apparently victoria's basement has them)
  3. Get your pastry bag ready (10mm tip), turn it upside down and put it in a cup ready to be filled. Also get your food colouring ready, and anything else you need. You want to prep as much as you can because leaving the merginue for too long can cause it to deflate. 
  4. Pre-heat oven to 130-150°C (It depends on your oven- you may have to do a test run)
  5. Sift together the almond meal and the icing sugar. Add 50g of eggwhites (B) into your almond meal mixture, and any food colouring.
  6. Make the syrup. Using a small pot/boiler thing, add your 150g of sugar with the 50g of water and leave on medium heat- don't stir this, just let it be.
  7. While the syrup's heating, gently beat 50g of egg whites (A) with a pinch of salt. When they begin to foam- like a bubble bath, slowly add in the 35 g of sugar in 3 parts. Beat till the meringue looks like shaving cream- shiny and firm. 

7. Once the syrup reaches 110°C, or its JUST about to brown (don't take your eyes off because this all happens so fast) then remove from heat and slowly pour it down the side of the bowl- keep beating your meringue till it cools (5-10 mins). Make sure you pour the syrup in small portions so you don't cook the eggwhites.

8. Mix the meringue with the almond mixture, starting from the middle and working your way from the bottom to the top- remember not to do this too hard or with too many strokes. Mix for 2 to 3 minutes, until you have a shiny gooey mixture that seems elasticky. When you lift the spatula, a thick magma like ribbon should fall back down into the bowl. If you haven't reached this point before forming your shells, they will have a tiny peak at the top instead of a rounded cap. 

9. Transfer the batter to the pastry bag and pipe small, evenly spaced blobs.

10. Once you've finished piping, tap the tray from the bottom to get rid of the air bubbles... or sometimes what I do is just drop the whole tray onto the ground (not from too high obviously) 
11. Leave them to form a skin. 30 minutes is usually enough for me, but I don't see the harm in leaving them for longer, its up to you.
12. Bake for about 15 minutes- ish.
13. Let the shells cool and then you can start piping your filling!! 

Passionfruit macarons. They turned out surprisingly well, seems like practice does make (almost) perfect. 

What a lovely day :) 

14 November 2011

Sunburnt by the sea

AARGH IM SUNBURNT. We went to Sculptures by the Sea at Bondi today, I thought I had enough sun protection - a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen, I guess I should have worn more sunscreen.

Sculptures: A lot of fun, some very beautiful artworks. I think I have many favourites, the giant tap definitely one, and..... the photo frame, which I do not have a picture of :(

Our friend Felix trying to turn it on, obviously not strong enough. 

 Shh a secret! 

 Being the asians that we are, we simply couldn't resist this pose.

Aaarghh lion pack! 

andd.....We're floating! 

The Toad family! 

What's up gold man?! 

It's printed so it must be true!

Thanks a lot to Felix and Putra for taking these photos!

Weather: Top of 35 degrees today, the sun came and went but toward the end it got really angry and sizzled us! Next time will have to come prepared with more sun protection. Oh and bring LOTS of water! they do have taps there but the water comes out milky coloured ... ={ doggies enjoy it though.

Overall experience: delightful!! apart from the sunburn and the long walk with lots of stairs and steep hills.

13 November 2011

Pad-thai Sunday

Everybody says that cooking at home saves money and is better for your health, so I tried making chicken pad-thai for the first time today. I adapted the recipe from Poh's Kitchen and some other sites online, and added chicken instead of prawns :) Damn its hard to get the flavour right. Mine ended up being too sour and a little bland.

But alas it was a fair first try I say :)

(about 4 servings)

For the sauce:
100g tamarind - You can buy this stuff from asian grocery stores, I went into a random one and asked for tamarind (in an asian accent hehe x)) and they directed me to the aisle- I didn't know there were so many variations =\ so I picked the block mushy looking one and hoped for the best. It worked o-k i guess... but next time I'm going to put less cause it turned out too sour =(  $2.20

300ml warm water 

200g palm sugar - Reminder to self: use the ones that come in the block. I used the pre-made one today, it smelt weird =\  $2.60

50g caster sugar - I didn't put the extra sugar in because the palm sugar I bought was pre-mixed with sugar, I dont know if it'll be necessary though?

12g Salt 

32g Tomato sauce 

Other ingredients:

Either shrimp/chicken/beef.... I put in roughly 2 chicken breast fillets, it was about right for 4 people.  About $8 for pack of 4 from woolies.
1/4 red onion, sliced. $1.19 for 1 (woolworths)
3 eggs -beaten
200g rice noodles - assuming each person a BIG plate full. The rice noodles are the translucent looking ones that are hard and crispy looking. $ 1.70
Garlic Chives 
Bean Sprouts $0.80
Fried Shallots
Roasted peanuts 
Dried Chilli (optional, i dont usually eat chilli)  $1.60 for a packet of 100g
Lime wedges - OMG. LIMES ARE so expensive lately, I bought ONE from woolies and it was $4 @ 26/kg or something. Using lemons next time.

And now for the Method

I usually like to get everything ready and weighed before I start anything else, just because I go frantic when the fire turns on and usually stuff it up.

1. Soak your noodles, leave them for about 30 minutes. Make the tamarind juice. So dissolve the tamarind with the warm water, use your fingers and break up the lumps then let it stand for a few minutes. Sift the juice through and chuck away the leftover stuff :)

2. Make your pad-thai sauce! Add the palm sugar, salt and tomato sauce to the tamarind juice, stir and leave aside. Put your noodles in a smaller pot filled with hot water and cook them till they're soft. I dont remember how long this took, you'll just have to check as you're doing it :(

3. Reserve some bean sprouts and chives for garnishing. In a wok, they suggest you use a wok or a larger pan so the noodles fry and not steam. Anyway in your wok/pan heat some oil and saute half the amount of sliced red onions.

5. Add beaten eggs and saute (not really sure what that means yet..) So make sure you dont cook the eggs for too long, as soon as they're not runny anymore remove from the heat and set aside. Just note that if your'e using a wok with a narrow base your eggs will puddle up at the bottom and turn into scrambled eggs ={ thats what happened to mine! LoL.

6. Heat the remaining oil and add the rest of the onions, fry your chicken or beef (different method for prawns, look up Poh's Kitchen).

7. Add the noodles and all the remaining ingredients, including the sauce. Toss it around and about and check for seasoning.

8. And you're done! Plate it up with two teaspoons of crushed roasted peanuts, chilli (if u want) and beansprouts, chives, lime, make it look pretty and serve immediately. :)

I love raspberry iceypoles, they're so thirst quenching!

Tamarind juice- yeah it aint pretty. 

                                           Yum! the chicken was pretty good.

So there's the recipe I used today. Too bad it wasn't as successful as I hoped, oh well, live and learn right?!

Okay, now its time to watch Rise of the Planet of the Apes and have some icecream, HEHE.