Saturday, 23 March 2013

Copycat Subway Chocolate Chip Cookies
山寨版赛百味巧克力粒曲奇

Told a friend of mine that I baked copycat Famous Amos cookies , she says she loves Subway chocolate cookies more. I remember I tried  Subway cookies once. They are big, flat , sweet, soft and chewy, quite different from Famous Amos cookies. Out of curiosity, I searched for the recipe, and saved one that looks good. No time to try until today. 

 

The recipe calls for bread flour instead of plain flour. It says bread flour makes the cookies firmer. Brown sugar contributes to the chewy texture. As usual, I reduced sugar by almost 80gm so that the sweetness is within my acceptable level. I baked them in late afternoon, and ate a few pieces of these big, chewy chocolate chip cookies with a glass of milk. End up, that became my dinner. No room for other food.

As for the similarity of this homemade cookies and Subway cookies, based on the recipe source, it should be at least 70%. Maybe I should buy one piece of Subway cookies someday, taste and compare, and come back to tell you how much they are alike.  Anyway, they taste fantastic, that's what my girls told me.


I decided to write in English and Mandarin alternatively in my blog. Other than trying to reach more audience, I just feel that one language is not good enough to express myself.  English is more of a working language to me. No matter what, mother tongue is still the best to accurately describe my feelings.  So, my next post will be in Mandarin.

SUBWAY CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

INGREDIENTS

- 250g unsalted butter (melted)
- 360g bread flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 200g brown sugar
- 40g castor sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
-2 tablespoons milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 200g chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS
  1. Heat oven to 200°C.
  2. Add flour, salt and baking soda in a medium bowl.
  3. Pour the melted butter in another bowl.  Add the sugar and brown sugar.
  4. Cream the butter and sugars using a whisker.
  5. Add the egg, yolk, milk and vanilla essence and mix until well combined.
  6. Add the flour mixture until thoroughly combined.
  7. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  8. Scoop 2 tablespoons mixture onto lined baking sheets. Leave some space for spread.
  9. Bake for 17-19 minutes or until golden brown
  10. Cool completely and store in an airtight container.

Recipe adapted here.

Friday, 15 March 2013

Cream Cheese Muffins, DISC Test
奶油奶酪瑪芬, DISC 性格测试

也许是兴趣,更多是个性,让我和烘焙结下不解之缘。如果说烘焙最让我着迷的地方,应该是它的整个过程,而不单单是它的结果。快乐的时候,做糕点,和大家分享我的快乐;郁闷的时候,也会做糕点,因为要专心,专注,心里会渐渐平静,暂时忘却那些嘈杂的声音, 繁乱的人和事。感觉和做瑜珈有异曲同工之妙。只是我的烘焙“疗法”,更胜一筹,化烦恼为美食,美哉乐哉。

说到性格,想到之前做过的一个很有名的性格测试 DISC,很准的。DISC 是 Dr.Williams Moulton Marston 的理论。它可以帮助你更好地了解你自己的行为模式。很多大公司内部都有这个测试。在网上看到一个简易版DISC , 试了试,结果和以前做的完整版类似。想知道你是哪个类型的人吗?高D,高I,高S,还是高C?有空可以试试这个链接。免费的。也可以参考这里去了解对各个类型的具体分析。人是复杂的,你对自己又了解多少呢?


最近一直在做瑪芬,方子都大同小异,所以没有一一写出来。相信只要有心做的人,都可以举一反三。享受美食的同时,体会个中奥妙,真是乐趣无穷。奶油奶酪瑪芬还算特别,与一般的瑪芬不同的是它的“内在美”。奶酪作为内馅,咬下去给人一种惊喜。聪明的你,也许会以这个方子为基础,做果酱馅,花生酱馅的瑪芬吧?看看我们谁先贴出来,互相欣赏欣赏啊。

 
 
CREAM CHEESE MUFFINS
(makes 12 medium muffins)

 
INGREDIENTS

Muffin Batter
- 3 cups plain flour
- 4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 cup caster sugar
- ½ cup (125ml) vegetable oil
- 2 eggs
- 2/3 cup fresh milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
 
Muffin Fillings
- 250g cream cheese
- 1/3 cup castor sugar
 
DIRECTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 200°C.
  2. Prepare the fillings:
    • Remove cream cheese from fridge. In a medium bowl, mix the cream cheese and sugar with hands until well blended.
    • Put into refrigerator to chill until ready to use.
  3. Prepare the muffin batter:
    • In a large bowl, place the flour, baking powder and sugar. Set aside.
    • Place the oil, egg, milk and vanilla in a separate bowl. Stir until well mixed.
    • Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
  4. Lined muffin tin with muffin liners.
  5. Fill each muffin well with 1-2 tablespoons muffin batter (just cover the bottom of the liner).  
  6. Add 2 tablespoons cream cheese mixture.
  7. Place 1-2 tablespoons muffin batter on top of the cream cheese. Make sure the cream cheese is covered completely.
  8. Bake for 20-23 minutes. Insert a skewer into the centre to test. If it comes out clean, it means that the muffins are cooked through.
  9. Remove from tin and cool on a wire rack.

Method referenced here.

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Let's Have Some Snacks : Honey Joys
吃点零食吧:蜜糖玉米脆片

 
Found half pack of fruity pebbles and 2/3 pack of cornflakes left in the kitchen for sometime. Asked my daughters whether they still wanted to take them, they shook their heads.

 
We don't usually take cornflakes as meal, not even for breakfast. It's more like snack for my daughters. Now that these snacks have been there for almost one month, untouched, it means my daughters have lost interest in them . It's kind of waste, if just throw them away.  Honey Joys come across my mind.  My friend made some Honey Joys with cornflakes during CNY. They are crunchy, buttery and sweet. Another easy-to-make popular snack !

My fruity pebble Honey Joys are well received by my daughters.  So, I continued with the cornflake Honey Joys.  I added some almond slices into the cornflakes so that they don't look pale as compared to the colorful fruity pebble version. All I could say is, Honey Joys are not only for kids, I love them, and the rest of my family love them!



HONEY JOYS (FRUITY PEBBLES)

INGREDIENTS

-2 tablespoons honey
-50g unsalted butter (melted)
-150g fruity pebbles















DIRECTIONS  
  1. Melt butter and honey in microwave oven (about one minute).
  2. In a big bowl, add fruity pebbles.
  3. Pour the honey butter mixture into the bowl. Stir gently until fruity pebbles are coated with the honey butter mixture evenly.
  4. Spoon fruity pebbles into mini baking cases.
  5. Bake at preheated oven of 160°C for 15-18 minutes.
  6. Once cooled, store them in an airtight container.


HONEY JOYS (CORNFLAKES)

INGREDIENTS

-5 tablespoons honey
-120g unsalted butter (melted)
-360g cornflakes
-50g almond slices
















DIRECTIONS
    1. Melt butter and honey in microwave oven (about one minute).
    2. In a large bowl, add cornflakes and almond slices. 
    3. Pour the honey butter mixture into the bowl. Stir gently until all the cornflakes are coated with the honey butter mixture evenly.
    4. Spoon cornflakes into individual medium baking cases.
    5. Bake at preheated oven of 160°C for 18-20 minutes, or until the cornflakes turn a darker shade of golden.
     6. Once cooled, store them in an airtight container.
     
Recipe adapted here.

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Mixed Fruit Walnut Muffins
什锦杂果核桃瑪芬

最近,胃不太舒服。主要是饮食不定时。医生建议我“少食多餐”, 不要等到饿了才吃。 对于坐办公室的我,每三小时吃点东西不是问题。关键是是吃什么。既有营养,又可口的食物,只能自己动手了。

黑芝麻糊是我常备的甜品之一。饿的时候,用热水冲泡一杯,香甜滋润。瑪芬是另一个不错的选择。简单又便于携带,做早餐或下午茶,配上一杯热咖啡,绝对美味 。尝试过酸奶油巧克力粒瑪芬蓝莓瑪芬,而这款什锦杂果核桃瑪芬,虽是昨晚下班后的临时发挥,却是我的最爱。




浸过朗姆酒的杂果,烤得香脆的核桃,一口咬下去,齿颊留香。为了让瑪芬保持软绵的口感,我还放了两大勺自制的原味酸奶。怎么样?听着有没有垂涎三尺啊?


MIXED FRUIT WALNUT MUFFINS
(makes 10 big muffins)


INGREDIENTS
- 2½ cups (375g) self-raising flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 cup (165g) caster sugar
- ½ cup (125ml) vegetable oil
- 1 egg
- ½ cup (125ml) milk
- 1 cup dried mixed fruits (soak in rum for a week)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons yogurt (original flavor)
- 1 cup walnuts


DIRECTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 200°C
  2. In a large bowl, place the flour, baking powder and sugar. Set aside.
  3. Place the oil, egg, milk and vanilla in a separate bowl. Stir until well mixed.
  4. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Add mixed fruits and walnuts. Mix well.
  5. Spoon mixture into a muffin tin lined with muffin paper cups.
  6. Sprinkle the top with some walnuts. Bake for 20-25minutes. Insert a skewer into the centre to test. If it comes out clean, it means that the muffins are cooked through.
  7. Remove from tin and cool on a wire rack.

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Sour Cream Chocolate Chip Muffins
酸奶油巧克力粒瑪芬


Ever since my daughters started morning session two years ago, they have to get up at 6:00am on weekdays in order to reach school by 7:10am. It's not healthy for young children to start school so early.  They have no enough sleep, and simply no appetite for breakfast.

Since breakfast is the most important meal for children, as a parent, I try to prepare food they like and let them have breakfast as much as possible. Fried rice, fried noodles and sandwiches are their choice of food for breakfast. Occasionally, I bake tarts, cakes or muffins during weekend, and they may bring one or two as their breakfast the next few days.

Both my daughters are chocolate lovers. So,  this sour cream chocolate chip muffins become one of their choices for breakfast.  The recipe I used is the same as Blueberry muffins, except that, I replace the berries with chocolate chips, and milk with sour cream. With a cup of hot milk or coffee, these moist muffins are the best to start off my morning as well.



SOUR CREAM CHOCOLATE CHIP  MUFFINS
(makes 8-10 muffins) 

Ingredients
  • 2½ cups (375g) self-raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 cup (165g) caster sugar
  • ½ cup (125ml) vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 pack sour cream (200ml)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 200°C
  2. In a large bowl, place the flour, baking powder and sugar. Set aside.
  3. Place the oil, egg, sour cream and vanilla in a separate bowl. Stir until well mixed.
  4. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Add the chocolate chips and mix to well.
  5. Spoon mixture into a muffin tin lined with muffin paper cups.
  6. Bake for 20-25minutes. Insert a skewer into the centre to test. If it comes out clean, it means that the muffins are cooked through.
  7. Remove from tin and cool on a wire rack.
Note:
  1. If you don't have self-raising flour, you can substitute 1 cup self-raising flour with 1 cup plain flour + 1 teaspoon baking powder.
  2. Do not over-mix the batter. The batter should be thick ("spoonable", not "pourable") 
  3. I adjusted baking temperature from 180°C to 200°C. The baking time is reduced by 5 minutes. This helps prevent muffins being dry.

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