The Opinionated Baker

Not all of us are made of sugar and spice

Archive for July 2010

The Bakerzin Sale. AWESOME STUFF.

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Bakerzin is having a 30% sale off its cakes till the end of August!

Isn’t that amazing?

An ENTIRE ARMY of cakes at 30% off… The glass surrounding their beautiful cakes must be really strong to withstand all that drool and lust.

Yes. LUST! Who wouldn’t be lusting after those amazing cakes?? Went there with my friends yesterday to chill and we managed to try 3 of their sweets.

The undisputed winner was the awesome oreo cheesecake. Not too thick or cloying as some cheesecakes tend to be… this one was GOOD.

A close runner up was the strawberry shortcake. If the oreo cheesecake was the sexy siren luring all dieters to their doom, the strawberry shortcake has to be the sweet girl next door. It pales in sexiness but it makes up for it in sweet simplicity. The two balanced each other off nicely.

We also tried the irish cream souffle…. but for sweet addicts like us, the bitter coffee taste of the syrup did not go down too well. Apparently the chocolate is better… but i won’t know till i go again… SOON! =DD

With more than a month of the amazing sale….  think i can safely bid my diet farewell. Good bye diet, let us meet again at the end of August!!

Written by Musingsat

July 24, 2010 at 7:53 am

Acknowledging mortality- (Not) To die for Blueberry Muffins

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The last few months have been scary. Having almost lost two of the dearest people to me, mortality is looking oh so real. I still pray in the night, thanking God fervently for preserving their lives. Death is not something to take lightly…

So when I saw the title of this recipe, I was miffed. Blueberry muffins are definitely not something to die for… even in jest, we should not take the concept of mortality so lightly.

(NOT) To die for Blueberry Muffins

from allrecipes.com

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries

Crumb topping (i normally halve this. It’s too much too much!!!)

  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease muffin cups or line with muffin liners.
  2. Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 3/4 cup sugar, salt and baking powder. Place vegetable oil into a 1 cup measuring cup; add the egg and enough milk to fill the cup. Mix this with flour mixture. Fold in blueberries. (Be careful not to overmix!!!) Fill muffin cups right to the top, and sprinkle with crumb topping mixture.
  3. To Make Crumb Topping: Mix together 1/2 cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour, 1/4 cup butter, and 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon. Mix with fork, and sprinkle over muffins before baking.
  4. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until done.

Written by Musingsat

July 22, 2010 at 5:18 am

Simple, delicious and full of love- Vanilla Bean Thins

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As I was baking these cookies, I was thinking about how similar shortbread cookies are to people. Both shortbread dough and people can’t be overworked. When overworked, both become dry and brittle. Under stress they will start to crumble and fall into pieces.

But carefully nurtured and given enough time to do their work properly, and both will produce results that will pleasantly surprise you.

My boyfriend is finally coming home on Friday. He won’t get a chance to eat this batch of cookies unfortunately (they finish up too fast), but I may bake a fresh batch to celebrate his coming home safely.

These cookies are really quite awesome. They appeal to almost everyone and their simplicity is the essence of elegance. You can always dress them up by dipping them in chocolate or sprinkling icing sugar over them. But i feel that by themselves, the sweet scent of vanilla in your mouth as it melts and crumbles is perfection. Although they may look frail, don’t let appearances deceive you. Packed carefully, they transport well. I’ve made them to give away twice and the feedback is always highly positive.

Vanilla Bean Thins

adapted from a recipe in Gourmet

• 1 fresh vanilla bean, split lengthwise (buying vanilla beans in SG is like buying chewing gum, it’s not very available. I substitute with 1 tsp of vanilla essence)
• 3/4 cup confectioners sugar
• 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
• 1 stick (1/2 cup) plus 5 tablespoons (1/3 cup) unsalted butter, softened
• 1 large egg yolk

Make Vanilla Sugar:  Scrape vanilla seeds from pod with tip of a knife into confectioners sugar.  Halve pods crosswise and bury in sugar.  Cover tightly and let stand at least 24 hours and up to 1 month.

Make Cookies:  Discard pods and transfer vanilla sugar to a food processor.  Add flour, salt and baking powder and pulse to combine.  Add butter and pulse just until mixture is in pea-size lumps.  Add yolk and pulse just until a dough forms. (If you don’t have a food processor like me, follow this sequence instead. Beat the butter, vanilla essence and egg together first. Then add in the dry stuff and mix. DON’T OVERMIX!!! Dough shouldn’t be crumbly.) Gather dough into 2 balls, then flatten into 2 disks and chill, each disk wrapped in plastic wrap, until firm, at least 1 hour.

1.  Preheat over to 325˚F.
2.  Roll out 1 disk (keep the other chilled) to less than 1/8-inch thick on a lightly floured surface with a floured rolling pin.  Cut out shapes with floured cookie cutter and arrange cookies 1/2-inch apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet.  Make more cookies with remaining dough, rerolling scraps as little as possible.
3.  Bake cookies in middle of oven until edges are pale golden, 10 to 12 minutes.  Transfer to cooling rack

Written by Musingsat

July 13, 2010 at 10:58 am

Posted in Cookies