Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Focaccia love.

The planned focaccia bread making was attempted today! ;) It was a simple enough recipe which called for only a handful of ingredients. I followed it as much as I could, substituting bits and pieces here and there where I deemed appropriate. The final results was simply rewarding to say the least. The smell of freshly baked focaccia in the oven was akin to a step away from heaven's door.

I can't believe how easy it is to actually make bread from scratch. In the past, I was slightly wary of the ingredient - yeast, and thus was not interested in trying my hand at the bread genre. However, I found instant yeast in the local supermart and bought it, together with gelatine (another never tried before ingredient), determined to actually do something about trying new things now that money has been spent. ;)

Two key ingredients - Herbs and olive oil; Dough before proofing; Dough doubled in size after proofing; Mini round focaccias.
Sprinkled mixed herbs, black pepper, salt and chopped fresh garlic atop the dough.

The recipe produced enough dough for me to shape into one large rectangle and three small rounds. It's just a personal preference that I love mini portions of baked goodies. They just look so cute and dainty. ;) This recipe is a keeper, I foresee that we'll be buying less of the focaccia bread we used to buy since I have plenty of bread flour to use up before I fly back to Brisbane. I'll be making additions along the way, like perhaps add sundried tomatoes, and mixing the herbs into the dough the next time I make it to add flavour to the bread.

Thus, here's a toast to trying out new things in the kitchen. A munch of focaccia later, my thoughts have already flown to flick through the list of recipes I have in mind to try out. Scrolling through the long list in my mind, I knew without any hesitation that the next thing I bake would be a cake. The problem is, what cake? I'm torn between three choices, the hazelnut gateau I tried a couple months before, a matcha and chocolate opera cake or a strawberry charlotte. Choices. Choices.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Cinnamon rolls.

Moving on to try a new genre of baked goods - bread. I baked the cinnamon rolls a couple days back, probably just a couple days after the earl grey muffins (which my sister snubbed not behind my face but to my face - in her own words: "It's not sweet one! I'm not diabetic, so why did you bake such diabetic food." -.-).

Considering the fact that cinnamon and sugar are certainly not diabetic, I set out to make the below rolls.

They were pretty yummy straight out of the oven, I couldn't resist popping one in my mouth while it was still hot cos the cinnamon smell wafting through the kitchen was seriously going into my head, inducing me to taste one the moment I removed the tray from the oven. When cooled, it tasted crunchy, an okay recipe I guess. But I still preferred the taste straight out of the oven. ;)

When I offered them to my sister (her majesty, no less), she actually looked at them and proceeded to say: "I don't like these kind, I like the kind like bread that type." I was torn between the urge to force one down her throat or to throttle her. 好难伺候哦. snigger. Surprisingly, she did try it the next day I think, and say it was not bad. lols.

I think, with plenty of free time on my hands, I'm baking at a much frequent pace. Ups and downs of it. ;) Next on list: foccacia bread!

Oh yeah, have been hanging out with friends again these few days. Meeting some of the hockey babes for quick lunch and a session at Minds Cafe, a karaoke session with Jos and mahjong session at my house again yesterday with the usual kakis, lunch/shopping (guilty) at IMM with Wen today before heading to Daily Scoop and had ice-cream there with Jia.

I'm in need of live music again. Can't wait for Saturday. ;)

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy 2009!

So I had a date with Wenli last night. We headed to town late about 11 and had supper...till the new year. (: We were chatting normally and, had in fact, missed the first few moments of the year till we checked the time. Haha. Wen, remember what we were doing for the first few minutes of the new year? snigger.

We caught Twilight, and there were still many people catching the show even though it's been screening for quite some time already - proves that I'm not the slowest person in Singapore to watch it. ha! The movie was not bad. As someone who've already read the book, there are bound to be comparisons made between the novel and the film. The novel was more lengthy, describing things and people in extreme detail, while the movie cut them off, and even altered some of the story content. Oh well, it's hard to bring to life a book as always, so I'm not saying it's a bad movie, just that it's an alright show.

One thing I can't fathom - is Robert Pattinson that hot? I don't see his appeal. Not before in Harry Potter, and not now in Twilight. I mean, I could see why girls of all ages would be charmed by him, but personally, he's just not my type to swoon over. ;)

Anyway, here are the earl grey muffins I was talking about yesterday. I found the recipe at some website and it looked really healthy, with no butter, minimal olive oil and sugars - seemed like a low-fat muffin to me. So I decided to bookmark for future reference. Boy am I glad I did make it cos it tasted pretty good for a muffin without all the butter and sugars. I don't feel as guilty popping one of these miniature muffins into my mouth compared to say, a regular frosted cupcake? heh.

Baking them wasn't without troubles. The previous brand earl grey teabags we had in the house were attacked by pests, and I realised it (luckily) before I dumped a pack of tealeaves into the batter. I was opening up the teabag on a plate to sift through the contents, when I noticed miniscule things crawling about the plate. Eeew. Talk about off-putting. I had to leave the house to get a box of Twinings Earl Grey. tsk. The Twinings Earl Grey smell was really prominent even before I opened the plastic packaging of the box. Yum.

Oh did I mention I recently acquired a new toy??? I mentioned to Dad that I wanted a SLR-like camera, minus the bulk weight of the SLR. He handed me Panasonic DMC-FZ50. It looks really cool. I've been fiddling around with it these couple of days. I'm not even 1/3 through the manual, but I figure that nothing beats hand-on practice. ;) This entry's pictures were taken using the new camera. I love how the effects turned out. (:

I am thankful that Dad deals with electronic equipment - handy when I've developed an interest in photography - and that he passes me stuff when I ask for it. I am truly grateful for having a supportive Dad who indulges me so much.

Happy 2009!
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