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Archive for April, 2010

 

tCoffee Cream Scones

Coffee Cream Scones

Coffee Cream Scones

Coffee Cream Scones-- the tiny black dots are finely ground coffee.

10/15/10 update: I made these coffee scones again. This time they looked much prettier and not as dark... see note below.

10/15/10 update: I made these coffee scones again. This time they looked much prettier and not as dark... see note below.

When these scones fresh out of the oven, you can smell the coffee in the air. Take a bite and you’ll taste chocolate!… This is why I love these scones!

Coffee Cream Scones Recipe ( makes 8-12 pieces)

Ingredients:
2 cups all purpose flour, plus extra for sprinkling
1 tbsp very finely ground coffee (1/2 tbsp if light coffee flavor is preferred)
2 tbsp sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
4 tbsp cold unsalted butter– cut into pieces
1/2 cup toasted walnut– chopped
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup dried cranberries
2 eggs
2/3 cup heavy cream (or whole milk)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Method:

  1. In a large bowl, stir flour, coffee, sugar, baking powder  and salt to combine. Rub in butter until the mixture resembles of coarse crumbs. Add walnut, chocolate chip and cranberries and mix well.
  2. Add eggs, vanilla extract and cream in a small bowl, whisk to combine. Scoop out 2 tbsp to reserve for egg wash. Pour the egg mixture all at once into the flour mixture. Use a spatula gently stir until the dough comes together. Do not over mix or the scones will be tough.
  3. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead the dough gently 4-6 times, then divide the dough in half. Pat each half into 6 inch circle, and cut into quarters, for a total of 8 wedges (for smaller scones cut each disc into 6 triangles, for a total of 12 pieces).
  4. Place scones on a lined baking sheet, 2 inches apart, and chill in freezer for 30 minutes. In the meantime, preheat oven to 400°F.
  5. Brush scones with reserved egg wash and bake for 15-18 minutes, until the center is baked through and golden brown on the edge. Serve immediately.

Regina’s Note:

I made these scones the second time using whole milk and only 1/2 tbsp coffee powder. The dough was pretty wet and required more dusting of flour during kneading/shaping. However, the scones turned out beautifully after baking and not as dark as first time. The aroma of coffee is light. Personally I would stick with 1 tbsp of coffee powder to give the scones more flavor.

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On my birthday, I baked myself a chocolate chiffon cake instead of getting a cake from the bakery. This is my first attempt and it turns out pretty good. The cake is moist and full of chocolate flavor, with some big holes inside even I tapped the cake batter twice on the counter before  baking. Compare to other chiffon cakes that I have made, this chocolate version is a little dense and the cake is relatively shorter even though I used 5 eggs… I wonder is it because of the amount of cocoa powder that I put in?? — it gotta be proportion of the cocoa powder versus water/oil in the batter… I will have to fine tune the recipe next time. Anyway, I served it with some mixed berries (now is the strawberry season) compote and whipped cream… mmm, life is good.

Chocolate Chiffon Cake

Chocolate Chiffon Cake

Chocolate chiffon cake with whipped cream and cold mixed berry compote... yum!

Chocolate chiffon cake with whipped cream and cold mixed berry compote... yum!

Chocolate Chiffon Cake Recipe

Ingredients:

Egg yolk mixture:
5 egg yolks
4 tbsp sugar
4 tbsp cooking oil
8 tbsp water
1 tsp rum
1 cup cake flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Egg white mixture:
5 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
5 tbsp sugar

Method:

  1. Preheat oven 335°F. Combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt then set aside.
  2. Hand whisk egg yolks and sugar until fluffy and pale in color, about 4-5 minutes. Add in oil, water, rum and mix well.
  3. Sift in flour mixture and mix gently until just combined with no dry flours.
  4. Whisk egg whites until foamy, add cream of tartar and whisk for a little while. Gradually add in sugar, one tbsp at a time, and beat on high speed till peaks form (reduce to med speed later to avoid big air bubbles).
  5. FOLD IN 1/3 of egg white into egg yolk mixture gently with a spatula until just blended. FOLD IN remaining 2/3 of egg white into the egg yolk mixture in two batches. Take care not to over blended.
  6. Pour the batter into a chiffon cake pan. Lightly smooth the top. Tap the cake mold on kitchen counter 1-2 times and bake for 45 minutes. Do not open the oven door while it’s baking or the cake won’t rise.
  7. Invert the cake IMMEDIATELY after baking to let cool (I use 3 stack-up cooling racks but you can use a sturdy tall bottle). Remove the cake from the pan when it is completely cool.

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My new hobby-- Chinese calligraphy and Chinese brush painting

This is a sample of my works (students' exhibit) displayed at the school Open House. Click the picture for larger view.

So, this is what I enjoy besides stirring up in the kitchen. Actually I am always interested in Chinese calligraphy and brush painting, but just didn’t come across the opportunity until Alexander’s Chinese school offered this class last year.

Yeap I’m for sure a lot busier now as I have to squeeze in some precious time in the already busy schedule to do my homework. Let me tell you it’s all about strategic time planning to make it happen… if there’s will there’s a way. I really like it– this is something I do for myself and I feel really good about it. If you are interested in something, go for it as you won’t know what will bring out of you until you try it out (Oh, no BAD stuff please! :))

I’ll be setting a profile and starts posting all my works to track my learning progress. I hope you like it too like I do!

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