Friday, May 25, 2012

Cream Custard

The cream custard was made as filling for the cream puff I made. The recipe was also based on 'Ah Jiao Excellent Chef' programme. This recipe is simple and the custard cream texture is very smooth and best to be consumed when it is very cold. The recipe is perfect however I find the rum used was just too strong for me since I prefer more vanilla flavoured desserts than anything else with too much alcohols.

415g milk
100g castor sugar
5 egg yolks
25g unsalted butter
25g cake flour
25g cornflour
1/4tsp vanilla extract
1tsp rum/brandy

1. Divide the milk equally into 2 bowls.

2. Stir cake flour and cornflour in one bowl of milk and mix well.

3. Beat all the egg yolks in another separate bowl and then mix the wet flour mixture in.

4. Add sugar to another bowl of milk and stir then pour this mixture into a clean saucepan and let it boil.

5. Pour the boiled milk to the flour mixture in step 3. Stir continuously as you pour so that you won't get scrambled egg.

6. Strain it to get the smoothest mixture and then put this back to the stove to boil.

7. Cook it until the mixture become thick and this will happen very fast. Continue to stir. When it started to thicken remove from the stove. Add butter and continue to stir. Butter will melt by the residual heat and the mixture will continue to thicken. Continue to stir and add in all the extracts.

8. Transfer quickly to another bowl to let it cool off and to stop it from thickening.

9. Cover it with a piece of clingwrap and press the wrap onto the surface of the custard to avoid a skin from forming.

10. Once cool completely, chill it in the refrigerator.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Cream Puff

A reader has written in to request for the recipe of cream puff from Ah Jiao's Excellent Chef programme. I am a fan of the programme and so far I have tried a few recipes and each recipe is a proven success and so far they have never let me down. I had coincidently baked some cream puffs for my kids' birthday party and therefore able to share here.

I baked in 2 batches and each was a success. It is very much depend on your liking as to what kind of texture you prefer. Some prefers crunchy crispy top while others prefer soft puffs. If you prefer the former ones then fill the filling right before serving and it is in my opinion that the puffs best to be baked near to serving time to maintain its crispiness for this purpose. Also in order to achieve this, you may want to slit open or poke a hole at the bottom of the puff as this will help the hot steam escape after the first 20 - 30 minutes bake. This was what I did. Being inexperienced as this was my very first attempt and that I had read from other baking sites about cream puff baking, I also scraped out the damp dough inside the puffs at this point and popped them back into the switch-off mode oven with the door left ajar for another 10 to 20 minutes. All these were done to maintain its crispiness. However, as this is not a crisp crust puff recipe so no matter what, the puff will turn soft eventually and even softer if you were to fill them up with your favourite filling and keep them in the refrigerator for a few hours.

I personally feel that the steps of slitting the puffs and scraping the damp dough are not necessary if you like the soft puff type; like those that we usually get from most of the local bakery stalls. In fact, I discovered that many of my friends prefer soft puffs than the crispy ones. As for myself I like both textures. I like the crispiness and crunchiness of the freshly baked puffs which are filled with very chilled cream and also those soft ones that almost melt in your mouth! It was a regret though that I was not in time to get the recipe and the ingredients to make a durian cream filling, otherwise to me this recipe was super excellent!



85g water
50g unsalted butter
60g bread flour
125g whole egg


1.  Pour water and butter into a saucepan and let it boil until butter is melted.

2. Pour in the flour and cook it. Remove the pan from the stove. Stir and cook using residual heat.

3. Transfer the mixture to a bowl to bring down the temperature. Continue to stir until the mixture thicken.

4. Add eggs slowly in 3 batches and continue to stir with a spatula until the ingredients come together.

5. Scoop the mixture in a piping bag and pipe on the baking sheet about 3cm diameter for each puff.

6. Spray water on the puff.

7. Bake for 30 minutes in a preheated oven at 200deg C. Switch off the oven slit open the puff or/and scrape the damp dough and pop the puffs into the oven with door left ajar for another 10 -20 minutes.


1.If the mixture is too thick, you may add a little more egg but not otherwise as you can't do anything if the consistency is too thin.

2. The right texture is when the batter coated on the spatula, and  that you are able to see bits of the dough hanging from it like a triangle flag.

3. You may use spoon to scoop if you do not have piping bags.

4. Spraying of water on the dough will help the dough to crack more and evenly.

5. The flour must be cooked with the water and butter otherwise the puff won't puff!

6. Always do an upwards piping so that the puff will rise and not outwards piping.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Kid's Birthday Party.... My Kids!!

I decided to have a combined birthday celebration for my daughter and son last year since their birthdays are just less than 3 weeks apart. The daddy worked on the games, gifts and decorations while I took care on the guests list and the food. I decided not to cater for the food by reducing the size of the guests. We kept the party small but fun-filled at least for the kids, after all it was their party! I love to set a stretched goal for myself to know and test my abilities. Perhaps this was due to what I used to do previously as a quality executive; breathing and preaching about stretching the target in a set mission statement!! I had challenged myself to cook for about 20 adults and 10 kids. Credits must be given to hubby, parents-in-law and friends who chipped in to help out in one way or another. Great thankfulness I must expressed to them and to God for making this warm celebration a memorable one!! The kids had so much fun. My daughters' friends still talking about the party till today!

The food that I planned and cooked were as followed:
1. 'Peranakan Curry Assam Fish'
2. Fried Pumpkin with Salted Eggs
3. Baked Carrots and Potatoes with Cheese
4. Creamy Mushroom Soup
5. Baked Chicken with Garlic
6. Fried Chicken Wings - Cooked by my GodMother
7. 'Peranakan Mee Siam' - Cooked by my Mother-In-Law
8. Cream Puffs
9. Fruits and Drinks

I am proud of myself for being able to cook these. I am not here to boast about my abilities; for I know and thank God that all strengths come from HIM; but I think it is important for me to be aware of my strengths, capabilities and interests.

Here are some photos of the foods and the special moments we had and shared together.

Cream puffs straight from the oven waiting to be cooled off then filled with chilled custard cream.

Peranakan Curry Assam Fish
 Baked Carrots and Potatoes with Cheese
 Fried Pumpkin with Salted Eggs
This was the most hit dish by the adults. It is one of the popular 'Peranakan' dishes and it is truly authentic!!

Creamy Mushroom Soup
Hubby dressed up as a clown to kick start games session!
Musical chairs..
The lovely chocolate cake we ordered from one of the local bakery shop called Four Leave.

My lovely and beautiful children!! Thank God every moment for their presence in our life.
 Cutting the cake with the grandfather..
Not our practice to let the kids to open the gifts before the guests leave but this was exceptional since it was from Grandma..
My girl with her two closed friends at school, showing off their talents in dancing the Indian dance steps they learned from the teachers.
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