Saturday, February 6, 2016

Happy Weekend!


That weekend feeling. Enjoy! xo

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Recipe: Turtle Brownies


I'll start the baking bucketlist for the year with this delicious and satisfying brownie variant--the sticky, gooey and oh so chocolatey  Turtle Brownie. I've adapted the recipe from Epicurious and the result is just as amazing!


TURTLE BROWNIES RECIPE 

Ingredients:

Brownie layer

  • 3/4 cup plus
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla 2 large eggs


Caramel-pecan layer

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup honey 
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups pecans (6 oz)


Garnish: mini chocolate chips

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Cover a 9-inch square metal baking pan with aluminum foil. Lightly grease with butter.

2. To make brownie layer,whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl.

3. Melt chocolate and butter in a 2-quart heavy saucepan over low heat, stirring until smooth, then remove from heat. Cool to lukewarm, then stir in brown sugar and vanilla. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating with a wooden spoon after each addition until mixture is glossy and smooth. Add flour mixture and stir until just combined.

4. Spread batter evenly in baking pan and bake in middle of oven until a tester comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool completely in pan on a rack.

5. To maker caramel-pecan layer, bring sugar, corn syrup, water, and a pinch of salt to a boil in a 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved, then boil, without stirring, until mixture turns a golden caramel color, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and carefully add cream and vanilla (mixture will bubble and steam). Stir in pecans and immediately pour over brownie layer, spreading evenly. Sprinkle mini chocolate chips evenly. Let  cool completely  before cutting into squares.


Monday, January 4, 2016

Belated Christmas crafting

I know, I know..I've been a terrible crafter blogger this year. Haven't crafted anything for the holiday season except for these Cath Kidston designed handmade felt ornaments. The book comes with felt and embroidery floss pack for extra crafting convenience.
I resolve to make more time for this blog this year. Stay tuned!



Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Coffee with Charlie Brown

Hello everyone! Happy Holidays! Sorry I haven't updated the blog for so long. I've been busy with life and work and managed to travel a bit. Here's a  snippet of my favorite coffee shop in Hong Kong- the Charlie Brown Cafe!

 







Saturday, August 15, 2015

FotoJet: A fun way to make online posters, collages and Facebook covers

I finally found the best online collage, poster and  photo card application on the web! FotoJet is so fun and easy to use and you will enjoy making your own unique collages that are just perfect for blog posts, Facebook posts and timeline covers. Did I also mention that it also has the best and trendiest lay-outs and templates for photo cards and posters? I think need to take more photos so I can use them on FotoJet. I just love all the creative possibilities that this wonderful application offers. Give it a go, will you?

Here are just some of the templates that I tried:

      

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Recipe: Raised doughnuts with assorted glazes

I can't tell you enough how much  I love these homemade raised doughnuts!  I made them one sunny Saturday afternoon where perfect weather conditions made the yeasted dough rise beautifully. I also had fun experimenting with various glaze  flavors such as matcha green tea, chocolate and sprinkles, pumpkin spice cinnamon sugar, chocolate almond  and  chocolate caramel. Best of all, I sort of got over my fear of working with active dry yeast. I used to mass murder yeast by getting the water too cool or too hot. To solve the problem, I got myself a candy/meat thermometer as I have observed that yeast will only work its magic when barometric conditions are right.   

I have also  tried various doughnut recipes in the past such as mini bundt pan cake donuts, homemade donut balls and baked vanilla lemon sour cream donuts but I consider raised yeast doughnuts the best. All that rising action makes for fluffy, airy, munchy result.

I got the recipe from here.  Check it out as it is super awesome. Happy doughnut making! 

RAISED DOUGHNUT RECIPE

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup warm water (100-110 F)
  • 2 packages active dry yeast (4 and 1/2 tsp)
  • 1 tsp white sugar
  • 3/4 cup milk, lukewarm
  • 1/3 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 cups sifted all purpose flour
  • 2 quarts vegetable oil for frying

Glaze:

1 tbsp warm water
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup confectioner's sugar (sifted)

Directions:
  1. Pour 1/2 cup of warm water into a small bowl, and stir in the yeast and 1 teaspoon of sugar. Allow the yeast mixture to stand until it forms a creamy foam layer on top, 5 to 10 minutes.
  2. Place milk and vegetable shortening into a small saucepan over medium-low heat and cook until the shortening has melted and the milk has tiny bubbles around the edge. Remove from heat.
  3. Place 1/4 cup of sugar and the salt into the work bowl of a large stand mixer and pour the milk and shortening into the bowl. Mix on low speed just to dissolve sugar; and allow mixture to stand until warm.
  4. Beat in the yeast mixture, eggs, and 1 cup of flour on low speed until smooth. Gradually beat in remaining flour to make a soft dough.
  5. Continue beating the dough on low speed until dough leaves the sides of the bowl, 2 to 3 minutes.
  6. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured work surface and knead until smooth and elastic, 2 or 3 more minutes.
  7. Form the dough into a ball and place into a large greased bowl. Grease the top of the dough, and cover the bowl with waxed paper. Set the bowl into a warm place; let the dough rise until doubled in size, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  8. Punch down the dough and roll out on a floured work surface to 1/2 inch thick. Cut doughnuts out of the dough with a 3 1/2-inch round doughnut cutter with a 1-inch smaller cutter in the center. Let the doughnuts rise on the work surface until very light and fluffy, 40 minutes to 1 hour.
  9. Heat oil in a deep-fryer or large saucepan to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  10. Gently pick up and drop the doughnuts into the hot oil, working in small batches of 2 or 3 at a time, and cook until the doughnuts are light golden brown, turning once, about 2 minutes.
  11. Drain the doughnuts on paper towels to absorb oil.
  12. In a bowl, mix 1 tablespoon of warm water and vanilla extract, and stir in the confectioners' sugar to make a glaze. Spread a thin layer of glaze over the warm doughnuts.

Recipe adapted from Allrecipes

Friday, July 24, 2015

Francfranc finds





Beautiful decor items spotted on Japanese lifestyle retailer Francfranc.   
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