Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Hello!


It's been months since I last published a post in this blog, gasp! I guess I've mentioned this before but I'll say it again - writing has never been my forte. I often find myself staring in front of a blank page in Blogger, not knowing how to even start the first sentence! As a result, I've blogged less and less often and it finally came to a complete halt few months ago. This is sad as I've been trying to keep Piggy's Cooking Journal going since 2005.

I haven't stop cooking and baking though, and lately I've been posting my creations (cooking/crafts) in my Facebook instead. It is much easier to manage this way, with just a title and a picture, I do not have to worry that there is not enough words to fill up the whole page!

I do not know whether I will continue to update this blog, but if you are still interested to know what I've been up too, feel free to follow me on Instagram or Facebook!

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

TWD: Baked Yogurt Tart


The recipe chosen for TWD this week is baked yogurt tart. The tart consists of flaky pie crust, yogurt filling, fresh fruits and chopped almonds.

I prepared a full batch of crust and used a small portion to make two small baked yogurt tartlets. My oven has been acting a little weird lately and most of my pastries take longer than the projected baking time to bake and these tartlet crusts were no exception. I had to bake them for close to 1 hour before they turned golden brown. I guess I need to get an oven thermometer soon. Anyway, the yogurt filling is easy to prepare and when it was done, I used a combination of nectarine slices and blueberries to place on top of the tartlets.

The tartlets turned out beautiful but the crust was too salty! I used salted butter by mistake and I still added a full tablespoon of salt to the dough, as what the recipe calls for! Other than the small mishap, the tartlets are delicious!

If you want to give the recipe a try, please visit this site.


With the recent food scare in Taiwan, I started to review the food I'm having regularly. Apart from cooking at home more often rather than eating out, I've also decided to stay away from store bought junk food. However, I still crave for chips and candies from time to time and having alternatives like fruits or dried nuts just won't satisfy my cravings at all!

So imagine my excitement when I saw a recipe of sweet potato chips online! I knew that I have to give it a try and I immediately went to the market and got a few yellow and purple sweet potatoes. The chips taste great and I'm sure that it is healthier than store bought chips too! I won't post the recipe here as I followed the recipe to a "T". If you want to give the recipe a try, go over to Yelena's blog!

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

TWD: Savarin


The month-long hiatus was totally unplanned for. The series of unfortunate events started with my laptop breaking down and when I finally got it back from the repair shop, my camera died. After I got my camera repaired, I thought I should be spared from any misfortune for the time being but unfortunately, I almost chopped off my finger when I was preparing dinner two days ago and I had to be rushed to the emergency room, duh...! With my finger still in pain, I wanted to give TWD a miss this week but the savarin recipe looks so interesting that I just had to give it a try!

I made a simplified version of savarin. Using a mini bundt pan, I made half a batch of the dough and I got four tiny savarins. The cakes were then brushed with syrup, decorated with whipped cream and raspberries. The savarin is not very sweet, just the way I like it and it tastes really good with cream and berries too!

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

TWD: Madeleines


The recipe chosen for TWD is madeleines. This dainty little morsel is one of my favourite pastries and I certainly did not hesitate to try out this recipe from Baking from Julia. GĂ©noise is used as base for the batter, easy to make but as the recipe calls for immediate baking, the madeleines did not have its signature humps. However, it turns out soft and fluffy, just the way I like it!

If you want to give the recipe a try, hop over to Katie's and Amy's blog!

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Strawberry Gelato


Strawberries were in season since January and I've been making quite a few desserts using this delightful fruit. But I'm sad that the season is now over and I have to wait for another year before I get to see strawberries in the market again. Two weeks ago, I lugged back a 2-kg pack of strawberries and I knew it was the last batch that I would get for the year as the fruits were not so fresh anymore. Anyway, I kept most of it in the freezer so that I can make cakes or desserts with it later and I used the remaining strawberries to make gelato.

Strawberry Gelato Recipe
Recipe adapted from Dolce Italiano


Ingredients:
1 cup whipping cream
1 cup milk
1/2 cup + 4 tablespoons caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 large egg yolks
1/2 pound sliced strawberries

Method:
1) Place the cream, milk, 1/2 cup sugar and vanilla extract in a saucepan, and place over medium heat.
2) Whisk egg yolks and 1 tablespoon of sugar well in a bowl.
3) Pour half of milk and cream mixture into the egg yolk mixture, whisk quickly until well combined.
4) Scrape the mixture in Step (3) into the saucepan. Using a wooden spatula, stir the mixture constantly and make sure that it does not boil. The custard is ready when it thickens and coats the spatula. You can test it by running your finger across the back of the spatula coated with custard, it should leave a trail and does not flow back together.
5) Set up an ice bath by filling a large bowl with ice and cold water. Place a smaller bowl into the ice bath and have a strainer ready. Pour the custard through the strainer, stir constantly until it is cool. Chill the mixture in the fridge for at least 3 hours.
6) After the gelato base is chilled, place the strawberries and 3 tablespoons of sugar in a blender. Pulse to achieve a chunky puree.
7) Freeze the mixture in an ice-cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

TWD: Rustic Potato Loaves


The recipe chosen for TWD this week is rustic potato loaves. I wasn't keen to take part this week as I thought it is going to be a time-consuming recipe. But after reading through the recipe, it looks really simple and it does not require long proofing time too. I made half a batch and I also added some fresh rosemary in the dough. The crust is crunchy and crackly on the outside, and soft and tender on the inside. It's so yummy that I chomped down 1 quarter loaf as soon as the bread is out of the oven!

If you want to give the recipe a try, hop over to Dawn's blog!

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

TWD: Mocha Chocolate Chip Cookies


After going through the nightmare of rolling out croissant dough two weeks ago, I'm glad that mocha chocolate chip cookies is chosen for TWD this week! This is definitely a much easier recipe as compared to croissant, but not exactly a quick one as the dough needs to be chilled for a few hours. However, once the cookies are done baking, you'll be rewarded with a scrumptious treat!

Generously studded with chocolate chips (I used bittersweet and white chocolate) and chopped apricot, each mouthful is chock-full with chocolatey goodness! The addition of coffee further accentuates the chocolate flavour too. The only complaint I have is that, I can't stop eating these cookies and I have to keep them out of my reach by hiding the cookies jar high up in the cupboard!

If you want to give the recipe a try, hop over to Peggy's blog!

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Mochi Bread


My friend, E and I were chatting over Facebook yesterday morning and the topic of mochi bread came up in our conversation. She's been looking for the ultimate mochi bread recipe for a long time but to no avail. Since I can read Japanese, I tried to help by looking for the recipe from Japanese sites and I chanced upon this recipe in Cookpad. It looks easy and I have all the ingredients except tapioca flour. I was eager to give it a try, and so I left the conversation, made a trip to the market immediately and got myself a pack of tapioca flour. I made a batch of mochi bread as soon as I reach home. Well, this is not exactly the mochi bread that my friend is looking for, as it tastes more like baked mochi. These chewy balls taste good though and if you're looking for a quick and easy recipe to prepare for your afternoon snacks, give this recipe a try!

Mochi Bread Recipe
Recipe adapted from Cookpad


Ingredients:

40g vegetable oil
75g water
100g milk
90g castor sugar
180g tapioca flour
30g bread flour
1 egg, beaten
White sesame seeds & 1 beaten egg

Method:

1) In a medium pot, heat up oil, water and milk. When the mixture is about to boil, turn the heat to low.
2) Add sugar and flours. Using a wooden spatula, stir the mixture until well combined.
3) Gradually add the egg, little by little, mixing well after each addition.
4) Add sesame, continue to stir until the mixture is thickened. Turn off heat.
5) Let the mixture cool for 5 minutes. In the mean time, preheat the oven to 190 deg C and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
6) Using hands, form tablespooon-size balls. Lightly brush the top of the balls with egg wash, dip in sesame seeds and then place on the tray.
7) Bake in preheated oven for about 15 minutes.

**The mochi bread is best eaten when it's fresh out of the oven.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

TWD: Croissants


There is certainly no lack of lengthy and complicated recipes to tackle in Baking with Julia, and croissant is one of them. I admit that I was intimidated by the length of the recipe and I had to read and re-read a few times to fully understand the recipe. The long recipe and the even longer preparation process (2 days!) resulted in a batch of buttery and flaky croissants. Even though my croissants are badly-shaped, but I'm extremely pleased with myself for completing one of the milestones of my baking journey!

If you want to give the recipe a try, hop over to Amanda's blog!