Saturday, November 12, 2011

Angry Birds

I guess it’s time for me to write again after such a long period of silence. Good thing that I am about to finish my degree soon in 2 weeks time! So that means that I can write more in future! Yes? No? Maybe? It has been years of painstaking lab work, countless clinical sessions, assignments and not to mention hardcore exams! I am glad that everything is coming to an end and to know that someday people will call me Dr. Nina. :P
This long-awaited entry is about my first attempt at making edible Angry Birds figurines. I made them in September; yes you read it right, ages ago. I was meant to make Smurf edible figurines, but I figured out that I was not up to that level yet. There were too many details, too much time would need to be spent on such small creatures. Perhaps one day if I have all the time in the world, I will try to make you again.
I used ready made fondant, Wilton colouring gel and tools, and some pictures from Google to turn plain white-coloured fondant to something worth admiring for the whole week. If anyone is interested to learn about edible figurines, maybe you want to read more about fondant, gum paste and marzipan. These three elements are the most common, and a clear understanding of their contents and usage will make your life easier in the future. Wow, now that I sound like a professor, I would like to emphasise that it is better to use books rather than online sources, my favourite is ‘Cake Art by The Culinary Institute of America’.
I think I should stop here; my back is killing me since I have been sitting on a non-ergonomic chair for the whole day. Till then guys! I hope you would enjoy the pictures! Xo!

(photo credit to Sharifah Shafawati)

(photo credit to Suryani Mazlika)

(photo credit to Suryani Mazlika)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Banoffee Pie (Banana Caramel Tart)

I love banana! Especially in desserts! I am not a big fan of caramel though, it’s too sweet and sticky, and to top it all, it is not good for your teeth! HAHA.
I made it about 3-4 weeks ago, during Ramadhan, and again about a week ago for the oral surgery department at the dental school. Everything was made from scratch, and I prefer it to stay that way. I don’t like it when my passion for baking is limited by the instant products available at the market, and of course they are not as good as home made goods J
Yes, it is time consuming to make everything from scratch, but you will definitely be happier if they all turn out good right? Okie dokie, here is the full recipe, I used a different recipe for the short crust pastry, but this one is similar to mine, so no dramas. I prefer to use thickened cream and sugar to make caramel and you can browse this page for the recipe. Those who are now scratching their heads and scared to start making their own caramel can also watch this YouTube video, just to make sure you get the right caramel colour and consistency. A few tricks for making good caramel;
  1. Please use good quality ingredients – there’s no short cuts for this!
  2. You need to leave them overnight in the refrigerator to thicken the sauce, or else it will be too runny.
  3. Fill the caramel up to ½ - ¾ from the base of the tart dish.
You can put the banana on top of the caramel or as a base, as for me I like it hidden underneath the caramel, just because it looks neat and also prevents the banana from going brown. I hope everyone will like this dessert as much as I do, till then guys! XO!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Macarons 2.0

I decided to sell my macarons last month, the reason being I had too many macarons in the fridge, and I personally don’t think my housemate and I could finish them. I actually tried a different recipe for macarons, it wasn’t the same as last time, it was much more complicated. I had to use 200 grams of almonds instead of the usual 100 grams. That explained why there were extra macarons in the fridge. I thought no one would be interested in macarons, and putting a ‘for sale’ shout out on FB would only attract a few people. I was WRONG. At the end of the day, I felt guilty for all those people who I rejected and decided to make them my cute not-so-little macarons.
To all my customers out there, I hope you enjoyed my humble macarons. I am not Martha Stewart, nor Bakerella, but I have tried my best to bake the yummiest macarons. My macarons were all made with love, the sweetness of caramel and lightness of full cream. I want you guys to treasure every bite of them, because making macarons 2.0 isn’t easy. Thank you again guys for your support, gheee :) 
If anyone is wondering whether I still sell my macarons or not, the answer is YES. But I would only make them on request if your order is more than $18. How many macaroons will you get with $18? I’m selling 4 for $3. So do your math people. You can still however buy them in small amounts, but only if they are available. 
I had so much positive feedback on my macaroons! :D and that makes me excited and pumped to do it again! Some people were asking me how much I made out of this “business”. First of all, I’d prefer everyone to not call it a “business”. I would sell them at least for a dollar each, before I would consider it a “business”.. and the answer to that question is.. not much, sometimes I didn't gain anything in return ><
Okay enough with my frustration. Here are a few pictures that I managed to take the other day, I hope I can inspire more people out there to start making macaroons! Till then! XO! 

Sunday, July 17, 2011

A s w e e t v i c t o r y

Hello there. Nina is back! I know I have been missing for quite a while J but I warned you guys before, so... no hard feeling alright? I started SWOT vac around mid June, finished my exams around early July, and I’ve been busy ever since with my netball tournament. Have I told you that we won GOLD? Yes, we did! I went to Melbourne for about a week for the tournament. It’s called the National Conference Games (NCG’s) and organized by the Malaysian Students Council of Australia (MASCA) and was held from the 4th July to the 7th July. I also represented SA for badminton and futsal, but no luck for us this year. J
Okay, let me get straight to the point. What you are about to read is a compilation of work from the past few months. There were more, but I’m showing the ones where I was able to take a photo. I baked pavlova when I was on my rural clinical placement in Whyalla, double chocolate chips cookies were made during SWOT vac, and recently... traditional Malaysian cake “kek lapis” also known as layered cake.
If anyone is wondering what pavlova is, feel free to open your google browser and type “pavlova”. Gheeee :D The only reason why I baked pavlova the other day was 1) it was damn easy, 2) I needed to get rid of my extra egg whites 3) I wanted to try it since it is a traditional Australian dessert. It turned out good. Some of my friends seemed to like it. As for me, I think it is too sweet :P Ouw, and here is the recipe.
Double chocolate chip cookies were specially made using a recipe from a cook book, which I got as my birthday present from my lovely boyfriend. Thank you Bunny! If anyone is interested with the recipe, I can put it up for you guys, but at the moment, I am just too lazy to type the whole lot out, maybe I should take a picture instead. Haha.
Last but not least, my favorite traditional Malaysian cake – layered cake! We used to eat this cake during the Eid celebration at my aunt’s house, when I was small. It is indeed one of my sweet childhood memories *sobbing*. Dear aunt, if you are reading this, I miss you, and your homey house at Hartamas. I also miss your hospitality every time we went to visit you. Here is the recipe. It requires a lot of patience, but trust me, it is all worth it.
Yeay! I’m done writing. Now for the pictures... look up for the headings guys, I’ll make sure it is clear for you guys to follow the sequence. Enjoy, till then! XO!


Double Chocolate Chip cookies

(365 Dish A Day 2007 Parragon)

Layered cake

p/s: nothing beats these moments! > <

::Credits to photographer Farina Ismail::