Monday, February 28, 2011

Peach Chiffon Slice with Swiss Meringue Buttercream

27 February 2011 - Peach Chiffon Slice with Swiss Meringue Buttercream

It was weeks since I last bake. Besides the family favourite orange butter cake I baked for CNY, this is the first bake in the month of February.

This is another recipe from Wendy. Her recipes and beautiful photos in her blog always take my breath away. I just could not keep my hands off her blog. Hehe. This time is her Peach Chiffon Slice she recently posted.

However, my bake kinda failed miserably. First of all, my chiffon cake shrank tremendously. I don't know what I did wrong. Was it that I did not cool the cake upside down? Or maybe I did not fold my egg whites correctly.

Secondly, my chiffon cake did not taste like chiffon cake. It is not airy enough. Mine turned out to be like a light sponge cake.
Anyway, I think egg whites and me are enemies. Whenever a recipe calls for egg whites, I tend to fail. Or maybe chiffon cakes and I are just not meant to be.

But the buttercream recipe was amazing. It tasted so damn good I was licking the whisk all the time while whisking it. It was not too sweet and does not taste icky like other buttercream I have tried. Surprisingly, the buttercream was kind of light.

And that was the reason why I spread a really generous amount of the buttercream onto my Peach Chiffon Slice. The buttercream were actually oozing out from the slice when I cut into it.

Hubby who is not a fan of cream said it was good too. We both ate 2 slices each although it was already 1am. :)

Recipe: Peach Chiffon Slice with Swiss Meringue Buttercream (copied directly from Table for 2)

Peach Chiffon Slice

2 pcs canned peach halves, pureed (about 80gm)
80gm cake flour
20gm sugar
4 egg yolks
50ml corn oil

4 egg whites
50gm sugar
¼ tsp cream of tartar or 1 tsp lemon juice

Buttercream for filling (see below for buttercream recipe)

1. Preheat oven at 160/180C. Fully line a 10 inch shallow square pan or a swiss roll pan
2. Combine egg yolks, 20gm sugar and peach puree. Mix until well combined.
3. Put in flour and combine, then oil and combine.
4. In a clean bowl, beat egg whites until frothy.
5. Put in cream of tartar or lemon juice and continue to beat until soft peak.
6. Gradually add in 50gm sugar and beat until stiff
7. Fold ¼ of egg whites into yolk mixture. Repeat with another 1/4 of egg white.
8. Pour (7) into beaten egg whites and fold.
9. Pour batter into prepared pan. Level surface and bake for 30 minutes or until golden and springs back to touch.
10. Leave cake to cool in pan for 5 mins. Remove cake from pan and place on rack. Pull away baking paper from the sides and let cake cool completely on the rack
11. When cake has totally cooled down, cut into half and spread with butter cream. Top with the other half and slice to serve.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream (also from Table for 2)

60gm egg white (about 2 large whites)
100gm sugar
170gm unsalted butter (taken out from fridge and cut into 10-12 small pieces just before you start to heat the egg whites)

Method: (instructions are adapted to tropical weather and hand held mixer)
1. Put the sugar and egg whites in a large heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and whisk constantly, keeping the mixture over the heat, until it feels hot to the touch, about 3 minutes. The sugar should be dissolved, and the mixture will look like marshmallow cream.
(egg whites in buttercreams are safe for consumption once it reaches 65C, to know how much is 65C w/o a thermometer, just mix 250gm ice with 500ml boiling water. Stir the water gently and wait until all ice has melted, then feel the water. It is approximately there)

2. Pour the mixture into a bowl. Put the bowl into a basin of water. The water should feel cold, like tap water on a rainy day. Do not use very cold water. Beat the meringue on medium speed until it cools and forms a thick shiny meringue, about 5 minutes.

3. Now add in add the butter, one tablespoon at a time, beating until smooth. Once all the butter is in, beat in the buttercream on medium-high speed until it is thick and very smooth, 6-10 minutes.


Temperature: If you have a room temperature and humidity like mine, try to add 3-4 pices of ice cubes into the water in step (3) when you add in the butter to prevent the whole mixture's temperature from going too high. The movement of the mixer will heat up the buttercream. Temperature plays an important role whether cream or soup will form. Too cold and the butter can't get fluffy, too hot and you'll get runny soupy cream.

Butter: It must be at 19-23C. Most recipes call for butter to be at room temperature. Yes. But that is non tropical room temperature. Our room temperature can be somewhere 28-37C. So, if you leave your butter to come to our room temperature, failure is not far from grasp. The butter should not be shiny. It should be matte in colour, and you will be able to hold it firmly with your fingers like what you see in the picture and soft enough to be dented thoughout with some pressure.

Eggs: Do not use pastuerized eggs. The egg whites won't melt the sugar.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Shern Flying @ 20 Months

Our trip to Phuket was Shern's first time flying.
To my surprise and delight, Shern was a good boy for all the four flights to and from Pen-Kul-Phuket-Kul-Pen!

He was excited when he saw so many airplanes from the windows of our boarding gate.

He was happy looking out the window when we board the plane - looking at other airplanes and mini trucks pulling freight.

And not soon after the plane took off each time, he dozed off!

And on our flight back, we were stranded in LCCT for 6-hour transit. 6 hours is a long time to wait at the airport if you have a 20-month-toddler with you!

So luckily, I brought lots of snacks for Shern. So whenever he got bored, I gave him some of his favourite snacks. So he had plenty of reasons to smile! :P

He was still eating even when in the plane. Luckily, after awhile, he dozed off and I even managed to order nasi lemak and finished it while Shern was sleeping on my tummy! :)

So what snacks did I bring for Shern?
Some of the snacks I bought for him are Heinz's Wholegrain Cereal Bars, Heinz's Biscotti, and Sun-Maid Raisins in mini packets.

And when he was not eating, he played with his toy cars.

By the end of our transit time, we spent almost the whole day at the airport. See how tired Shern was towards the end?

All of us were tired. Not only Shern.

But all in all, I am so glad that Shern did not cry or make a fuss in the plane.
I guess my son loves flying, unlike his mum! :)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

My First Pair of Birkenstock

Those who saw my facebook status earlier knew that I've got a big, fat bonus from hubby. I initially wanted to buy more clothes, especially since I am now fatter and can't fit into many of my clothes (clothes which I own since secondary school!).

And please don't blame it on Shern now that his mummy is fatter. It is not the post-pregnancy fault. (I was back at my pre-pregnancy weight after a few mths giving birth). His mummy is getting fatter because she is eating non-stop and no thanks to my baking obsession as well. Sigh.

Anyway, back to the topic.
I got myself a Birkenstock, thanks to a friend. Yes, the shoe that I've been eying since I went to Australia in 2003. I was a poor student then, so I could only watch some of my friends buying them (at that time, Birkenstock was not available in M'sia).

Based on fourfeetnine, there are 2 types of women in this world: the shoes woman or the bags woman. I think I am both. The shoes woman AND the bags woman!

So now not only I own 2 Radley bags, I now also own a pair of Birkenstock Gizeh in white.

I drool just by looking at them.
Been wearing them for sometime now. Birkenstock has been hailed as 'The Perfect Shoe' by many.

And how do I feel wearing this? It is so good that I think in future, no more Crocs for me, only Birkenstocks! :P
Although initially you feel that they are a little stiff when you tried it on, it got more and more flexible the longer you wear it.
I think I am in love with it!

I like its contour footbed and its deep heel cup with natural padding. And I don't usually wear thong-style slippers, but surprisingly, this Gizeh does not hurt my toe. My toe wraps at it naturally and does not hurt me at all. I'm really surprised!

If I don't wear my heels out, you are sure to spot me wearing my Birkenstock.
I wear it casually everywhere. I'm lovin' it!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

In Phuket, With a 20 Month Old Toddler In Tow....

...this is what you get!

14 Feb 2011

Shern was so tired when we went to Patong Beach area. He had his afternoon nap lying on me in McD @ Jungceylon Mall while the rest continued to shop.

Monday, February 21, 2011

In Phuket, I...

Besides visiting the temples, and eating local street snacks at night markets, watching sunsets, and got all soaked in the sun, I...

...wore a bikini

...went snorkeling my Thai massage my facial done

...ate a bug, yes...I ate a grasshopper I think..

Is that gross or what? Hehe.
Another strikethrough off my Life List: #25. Have the courage to eat the fried bugs just like those in Cambodia.!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Off For A Relaxing Holiday With Family

Life has been pretty hectic since my sis, Wen is back from South Africa this CNY. This explains why I am not updating this blog as often as I wish.

And now, I am going to be further MIA as I will be going for a relaxing holiday with my family.
So I am gonna end this post with a photo of my family. :)

The whole Tan clan...courtesy of Chew Win Win

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Beautiful Nails

Thanks to Mun Yi's Christmas present, I've got beautiful nails. My first time doing nail art.

Oohhh, and I like 'em short and sweet.

p/s - pls don't stare at my retarded pinky. It's rude to stare! :P

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Rare Meetup Nowadays

Now that most of the gang has got kids, we don't meet up so often like before. Gone were the days of mamak supper and ad-hoc meetups.
Now everything gotta plan in advance so that all our toddler kids have sufficient sleep in the hope that they don't go cranky later.

Last Sunday meetup was rare. Almost everyone make it (even those from KL & S'pore) and it was an early CNY meetup. So there, I distributed my first few ang pows and Shern received his first few angpows too.

30 Jan 2011 - The Gang @ Matsuki

There were 3 kids there (too bad Yi Jie & Yi Han did not join). 3 of them are age 15 mths, 19 mths and 25 mths. It was so fun and cute seeing them walking about and doing their thing.

Marcus at 25 mths was initially shy. But after he warmed up, he was as cheeky as can be.
Ashley at 15 mths was the princess. She was tall for her age (I guess compared to Shern ;P) and is cute and very manja.
Shern as usual is the active one, running about and even wanted to climb the table before everyone arrived. But all in all, he was still quite a good boy the whole time.

And did I mention that this place is Matsuki @ Cantonment Road and I love the private room. The kids can roam free and I don't have to run after Shern! :)