Friday, April 24, 2015

Guiness Chocolate Cake topped with Cream Cheese

I have few bottles of Guinness stout leftover from the housewarming party, I don't drink.. the hubby doesn't drink that often as well. So, I've decided to try Guinness chocolate cake! Daniel's birthday party is just around the corner, I wanted to bake a cake for him, from scratch to the buttercream to the decoration. So, I gotta practice more in order to bake a perfect and nice cake. 

Here it goes.... my Guinness chocolate cake! The first impression when I told Mr Hub that I would like to bake this cake was "eee yerrrrr, Guinness? Are you sure? Will it taste good? Will it turn out to be bitter?"

Surprisingly, the end of result of this cake is so good that after the first bite, you would want more and more and more! The taste is not bitter, neither does it have any alcoholic taste. But it's so rich in chocolate and moist! The most delicious cake that I ever bake! *because I hardly bake nice cakes. haha*

 
I've to bake this cake for more than 1 hour, then only the skewer came out clean. That explains the crack? I'm not sure. I'm not a baking expert.

I turn it opposite, so the ugly look crack look will be at the bottom. Haha.

I just poured over the cream cheese mixture and oh yeah, I really gotta improve in my decorating skills. =/

Here you go! A rich and moist chocolate guinness cake! So yummy that Mr Hubby said this is the best cake ever. He suggested I can even sell it. Lol.

Here's where I adopt the recipe - Chocolate Guinness Cake

Ingredients for the cake

    250 ml Guinness
    250 grams unsalted butter
    75 grams cocoa powder
    400 grams caster sugar
    142 ml sour cream
    2 large eggs
    1 tablespoon vanilla extract
    275 grams plain flour
    2 ½ teaspoons bicarbonate of soda

for the topping

    300 grams cream cheese
    150 grams icing sugar
    125 ml double cream (or whipping cream)


Method
  • Preheat the oven to gas mark 4/180°C/350ºF, and butter and line a 23cm / 9 inch spring form tin.
  • Pour the Guinness into a large wide saucepan, add the butter - in spoons or slices - and heat until the butter's melted, at which time you should whisk in the cocoa and sugar. Beat the sour cream with the eggs and vanilla and then pour into the brown, buttery, beery pan and finally whisk in the flour and bicarb.
  • Pour the cake batter into the greased and lined tin and bake for 45 minutes to an hour. Leave to cool completely in the tin on a cooling rack, as it is quite a damp cake.
  • When the cake's cold, sit it on a flat platter or cake stand and get on with the icing. Lightly whip the cream cheese until smooth, sieve over the icing sugar and then beat them both together. Or do this in a processor, putting the unsieved icing sugar in first and blitz to remove lumps before adding the cheese.
  • Add the cream and beat again until it makes a spreadable consistency. Ice the top of the black cake so that it resembles the frothy top of the famous pint.
You can also try the recipe above with the steps below (watch the video) :
Chocolate Guinness Cake Donal Skehan
The most easy and most yummy cake ever! ever! No regrets trying this! Really ..... =)
Thursday, April 23, 2015

Willingness..

Define the meaning of willing .. and here it goes:
  • Acting or ready to act gladly; eagerly compliant.
  • Done, given, or accepted voluntarily or ungrudgingly.
You see, a lot of times when we deal with our daily chores of life, many times we do things unwillingly. Most of the times, we do it with a complain in our heart. Why me and not you, why this and not that .. etc.

Today, I would like to encourage my dear friends to do everything willingly. Do it wholeheartedly. Do it not because of recognition/reward/for eyes to see.. but do it happily, gladly, and with a smiling face. 

It's ok if the plates in the sink are not washed, just pick up the sponge and detergent and wash them clean.
It's ok if the unfold clothes are all over the bed, just sit down and fold them.
It's ok if the toilet is not washed, just pick up the brush and clean it. It just take 5-10mins ?
It's ok if the floor is dirty and sticky... pick up the broom and mop. 
It's ok if there are a lot of things piling up calling for you .. it's ok. Relax. Take a deep breath. Plan your time and do it willingly.

I assure you, if you ever change your mindset and complete your work willingly, wholeheartedly, you will feel much relax, happy, joy and peace in you. Otherwise, you will be feeling more pathetic of yourself (oh, why no one helps me) and your day gets gloomy. So, decide what you want. If you know that is the fact that you gotta do what you're supposed to do, just do them willingly. 


Isaiah 1:19
If you are willing and obedient, You shall eat the good of the land...


Monday, April 20, 2015

Someone is going to be TWO!

Can you hear the birthday song singing in the air ? Oh boy... time flies too fast! This young man is turning two next month. I caught myself looking and starring at him more than before, watching him playing with his toys, looking at his smile, hear his little voice calling out for "Mommy". Awwww... I can just sit all day just to watch him (Provided he didn't take his toys and hit me). Haha

Boys being boys. He's a boy! Run. Jump. Push. Throw. Hit. Bang. The traits of a boy. And poor jie jie got hit by his toys so many times and when jie jie started complaining to mommy, this little boy quickly cover his mistake by saying "So-wy Jie Jie, So-wy Mommy". Sometimes I just wonder if he knows the meaning of Sorry. =/

It's just amazing to me how rough one can be, and yet how gentle his personality can be. He's all cute when he says "Yes, Mommy" or when he goes "Mommy, I want milk milk" or when he's curious and he asks "Why". Not to forget. Whenever I ask him why there's blood/stain on his leg/hand/body.. his answer will be: Be-chaus (because) lion bite. Haha. Those little voices are so precious that I must get them recorded. 10 years down the road, he won't have the same cute voice again, he will sound soo man!

Little man, it has always been our prayer that you grow up knowing your Father in Heaven, that you will love Him more than anything else in this world and you will grow up to fear Him. Because, we know and we know once you place Him above anything else, all the good things will be added to you. 

Love you always!

I'm totally smitten by this little face!
Monday, April 13, 2015

There's no place like home!

And who says staying at home mom does not countdown for Friday.. I did. Tee hee!

I like Friday. We have cell group meeting on Friday. We get to sleep a little later than usual, and we do not have to set alarm for the next morning. We get to tuck in bed a little longer on Saturday morning. And I get to be a little lazy that I don't have to cook. *grins* We get to plan plans.. Malls? Eating out? Beach? Playground? Swimming? Sleep and sleep?

Friday is awesome! Thank God for Fridays!! =D

It has been a five great months of being home 24x7 with my kids. No lying, I still miss my work. I have great friends there, I have a nice playslip, I get to EAT peacefully, I don't have to deal with tantrums all day long, I don't sweat from morning till night, I get to dress up which means I can go shopping every month .. oh well. I miss all these. The "luxuries" of life.

But!

Hang on!

These luxuries are just a temporary satisfaction. I'm happy when I buy myself a nice dress. But after few times wearing that same dress, I get bored. Eating good food/nice food is a temporary satisfaction, few hours later, I'm hungry again and I don't feel like eating the same food. All these luxuries are just merely luxuries that don't give you eternal satisfaction/fulfillment.

And I've asked myself a couple of times, "why did I get myself into this? Why? Why?" (whenever the kids get up from the wrong side of the bed)

And then reality hit me back.. why did I conceive then? Why don't we just live the "two people world"?

I've got the answer... There's no place like home.

Being at home, staying at home is where my heart is. My FAMILY is the luxury of life. My precious diamonds. I smile when I see them. I feel complete when I see their happy faces. Forget all the tantrums, in fact they smile and laugh more than their meltdowns. I don't get bored with them, their smiles are so fresh everyday. I finally found the true satisfaction. The true joy. The true love.

Friends, love your family. Life is fragile. Spend more time with our loved ones. No money/power/handbags/diamonds can ever replace that. Home is where the heart is. Home is where you belong. Home is where you were born.



Thursday, March 5, 2015

Italian Bread - Yummm !

And this time round, I made Italian Bread from my Kenwood Bread maker (inspired by Italiannies, our favorite restaurant). All I need is to just put all the ingredients together into the bread pan and the awesome bread maker will do all the job from scratch for me! That's perfect, isn't it ? But, I just need to try and error on the preset program.

 
I've always been using Program 4, which is quite close to the bread that I'm baking. The end result is good! Perhaps if you use the bread maker to knead the bread, and then your hands to shape the bread in the final steps, the end result could be even better. 
 The dough will be a little sticky and sometimes the kneader would go out of place and the machine will start beeping. I wonder why the bread maker has this problem and I wonder if it's just me or anyone else facing this problem.

 My Italian bread is all set! And my house is now filled with the fragrant of Italian Herbs!

Among all the bread that I bake, this is the best! Soft and fragrant! Delicious if you dip in a plate of vinegar+olive oil. Just like how the Italians' use to eat their bread. I miss Italy now.

And here's the recipe which I couldn't remember where I adopt it from (my sincere apology).

30gm lukewarm water
123gm warm milk
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 egg, lightly beaten
15gm sugar / 1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon rosemary
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1.5 teaspoon yeast
315gm bread flour

That's all you need. Always add in the wet ingredients first before you add the dry ingredients when using bread maker. 

Cheers to all ... happy baking!
Monday, February 16, 2015

What's in the toddler's Porridge

Eating healthy is always the key to a healthy body, mind and soul. So, basically above are the ingredients that I put everything together in the kids' porridge. The packet behind is chicken stock brewed by my mom in law. Besides, I usually cook steam egg for the boy and fried egg for the girl as side dishes.

You might be scary with the amount of veges in their porridge, but hey, they eat everything! Good job kids! =D

I just wonder how long more they will take porridge, as long as they want it, I will cook it. I believe porridge contains more nutrients cause I actually dump a lot of varieties inside. I tried feeding my daughter rice and dishes (our adult food), in fact, she ate lesser and was more picky. As for now, porridge is the best for them. Until they outgrown their porridge ............. 
Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Surprise!

I like surprises ....

but

All surprises come with a Price Tag ... and the saying goes "No money no talk".

This is by far the shortest post that I've ever written and it basically explains my mood right now.

Tata.
Monday, January 26, 2015

Loves to Bake - Steamed Caramel Banana Cake

Baking is so much fun. My MIL brought lots of bananas over and I just wondering what I can do with those bananas, instead of just eating them on its own. So, looking through recipes.. thought of baking muffins, but ended up I made steamed caramel banana cake. The name itself looks delicious and the end result is even more yummy. Because I like caramel. That explains why I decided to made this cake.

The recipe adopted from the website :
Just follow exactly the same, steps by steps and you will get a superb steamed cake.

But, I find it a little too sweet. Wonder if I cut down the sugar, will the cake still look this good....


 Ashlynn said she would like to have a muffin, thus, I poured some batter into a paper cupcake we bought from Ikea.
 Yummmm!! It will be so much better if I can cut down the sugar.


Looks good right? Soft and moist is the most important key to a successful cake.

The hubby loves it too... he said this is good! Yeayy!!

More baking to come. Next target will be baking a nice birthday cake for the birthday boy. So, I gotta practice more! Swiss meringue buttercream, pipping, decorating ... etc. Wish me luck!
Thursday, January 8, 2015

My farewell Gift!

First of all, a big thank you to my dear colleagues, my wonderful team members that contributed so much to get me this amazing bread maker as my farewell gift. The most expensive gift that I've received from my friends! I never expect to receive such a huge and expensive gift, I already had a nice share of nice and expensive lunch treat. So, whenever I bake, I remember all the good memories that we had. We laughed, we cried, we laser-ed each other... lots of fun things that we did together. Those were the days, the good memories.... If I ever have the chance to go back again, I think going back to the same team will be the best choice, if only my friends are still there. :P

So, this was the first time I ever bake a bread. I've been longing to get this for a long long time, but due to budget constraint, we decided to put this desire on hold. Till the hubby gets his next bonus ? But my colleagues gave me a surprise, they read my mind! And they know what I want! Thank you so much! 

Here's Brioche Bread that I baked.. This is already a preset recipe. I just need to prepare the ingredients and dump everything inside the bread pan according to the sequence. That's all. Pretty easy.

I'm seriously hopeless in reading the manual, if without my hubby.. I would have turned the machine upside down. Silly me, I poured in all the ingredients into the bread pan before I place the kneader. And then looking through the manual, where exactly is the place to put the kneader. The real fact is I should put the kneader first before I pour in the ingredients. Sighh... I'm seriously hopeless in reading manuals. So, Don't ask me to get stuffs from IKEA and fix them myself.




Ta dahhh... my bread came out to be pretty nice. But since this is a home made bread without preservatives or bread softener, don't expect it be so soft and nice. It's good to eat when it's hot. But once it's cool down, it will be a little hard. And when you keep the bread till the next day, it will be super hard. So, just steam it and it is nice to eat again. Soft and fluffy home made bread!

This is a good machine to invest for a healthier meal.

The bread flour ain't expensive. A packet of Country Farm organics plain flour cost between RM6-RM7 and one packet can use about 3 times. So I guess overall cost is still OK, but of course, one loaf of gardenia is even cheaper.. but, home made food is always the best choice for the family!
Friday, January 2, 2015

One month : SAHM

It's exactly one month now that I'm hired as SAHM by my hubby. Some days are beautiful, some days are not. Some days ended with tantrums and some days ended beautifully. 

Sometimes I did ask myself, why did I get into this "trouble" when I have to deal with tantrums/meltdown all day long. At the end of the day, I was so tired that I lost my sanity easily and I turn up to be a roaring lion. Sigh... Working life is more fun and relaxing, isn't it? I sat at the corner of the house, wondering why did I make this decision. I think working life suits me better.

One month passed... 

I won't deny it, sometimes my heart is itchy that I want to go back to work. Everything is so expensive these days. A's kindergarten alone already cost RM545 per month! I didn't expect it to be THIS expensive. We did survey a few kindergartens, the fees are definitely cheaper by a hundred, but somehow, at first sight, we already fell in love with the school. It's convenient, it's organized, it's well-structured. And most importantly, Ashlynn loves her school. Every morning, she wakes up with excitement. "Mommy, I want to take this biscuit to school" "Mommy, I want to wear this socks" "Mommy, help me to put hairpin" All these makes me smile. I'm a happy mom.

 She's a big girl now right.. 

And when Jie Jie is off to school.. here's what I'm doing with the little man. It's cuddling time. Hugging time. Kissing time! And this moment is the most wonderful moment of life, the very best moment of a SAHM. I can just catch him and give him a kiss on his sweaty head. It smells good tho. I just love smelling his sweaty head. Hehe. And then his sourish cheeks! I better enjoy as much as I can because Jie Jie will run away whenever I'm doing this to her. Which means I only have 2 more years to go before the little man "outgrown" all the baby kisses, hugs, cuddles. Time oh Time. Please go slower!

I can sit all day and do nothing just to cuddle if he lets me...

So, how's motherhood treating me now? Did I really enjoy being a full time mom? Did the kids enjoy? I bet they do, if I never lose my sanity and become a roaring lion or if I say Yes all the time to them. Haha.

The truth. I love my kids. I love this full time job. It's getting better and better each day as I get used to the home-stay routine. I get to do a lot of things that I like to do; cooking, baking, cleaning (oh yes, I  like to clean the house and keep 'em clean), and gardening! The only thing that I still need to adjust is the love-to-buy-things. I still need some time to adjust and get used to not-buying-want-but-not important-things. *giggles*

Happy New Year friends!
May the new year brings good health, new strength, better job, better opportunities and a better relationship!

Let's sail strong, forget the past, move forward and start a new chapter, a stronger chapter of life!