Thursday, April 30, 2009

Mascarpone Semifredo: Easy, Icy, Delicious!

I just can't stay away from something cool, well the weather in Thailand is very, very hot! But today, I think we need something easier than ice cream ^ ^.

Semifredo is very easy to make, just beat, mix and put in the freezer, and then you get lovely delicious dessert. No strove top heat because you don't have to make the custard base, haha, what a great thing!

The original recipe calls for ricotta cheese, but in my opinion, mascarpone is a lot better (Ok, I love it), lightly sweet and rich, I think you can't resist it.
About the dried fruit, if you don't want to use alcohol, you can plum the fruit in the water or orange juice and feel free to use any fruits that you like.

Mascarpone Semifredo
Make 5 (72 ml/ pieces)

Rum soaked dried fruit (cut into small pieces)
Dark chocolate (chopped)
Pistachio (lightly roasted)
Whipping cream
Mascarpone cheese

Whip the whipping cream until soft peaks.

Lightly beat the mascarpone until soft and fold the whipped cream into the cheese.
Pour the nut, chocolate and dried fruit into the cheese mixture, fold until combine.

Spoon the mixture into the mold. Freeze until firm.

Mascarpone Semifredo: Easy, Icy, Delicious!

Monday, April 27, 2009

April 2009 Daring Bakers Challenge #29: Cheesecake Centerpiece, Cafe au lait cheesecake with caramel sauce

The April 2009 challenge is Cheesecake Centerpiece, the main idea is the cheese cake challenge for anyone who never make cheese cake before and the variation for the one who want to play with cheese cake.

Anyway, because I had made cheese cake before this challenge, so I decide to play with the variation. I choose to make Cafe au lait cheesecake with caramel sauce, you might know my reason, haha (my Mom love coffee, and my sister love caramel, so I have my customers, ^ ^).

But I reduced the portion of the recipe, I make only 1/3 of it. I use little cake pan (10cm) but make a silly mistake >*<, I installed the base of the pan wrong side up, and I couldn't take the cake of of the base of the pan. So, you can see that my cake still attach with the base, haha. For the caramel sauce, I use my basic one, and if your be loving recipe just use it.

I have to admit it's fun to play with cheese cake, and this cafe au lait one is very good too.

The April 2009 challenge is hosted by Jenny from Jenny Bakes. She has chosen Abbey's Infamous Cheesecake as the challenge.

Abbey's Infamous Cheesecake:
Coffee cheese cake with caramel sauce

10 cm X 2

Full portion



2 cups / 180 g

Graham cracker crumbs


1 stick / 4 oz

Butter, melted


2 tbsp. / 24 g



1 tsp.

Vanilla extract


8 oz

24 oz

Cream cheese, room temperature


1 cup / 210 g




Large eggs


1 cup / 8 oz

Heavy cream

1½ tsp

1-2 tbsp

Instant coffee


1 tbsp.

Lemon juice


1 tbsp.

Vanilla extract


1 tbsp

Coffee Liqueur





½ tsp



½ cup

1 cup

Whipping cream

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (Gas Mark 4 = 180C = Moderate heat). Begin to boil a large pot of water for the water bath.

2. Mix together the crust ingredients.

Press into your preferred pan. You can press the crust just into the bottom, or up the sides of the pan too - baker's choice. Set crust aside.

3. Combine cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of a stand-mixer (or in a large bowl if using a hand-mixer) and cream together until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, fully incorporating each before adding the next. Make sure to scrape down the bowl in between each egg. Add heavy cream, vanilla, lemon juice, and alcohol and blend until smooth and creamy.

4. Pour batter into prepared crust and tap the pan on the counter a few times to bring all air bubbles to the surface. Place pan into a larger pan and pour boiling water into the larger pan until halfway up the side of the cheesecake pan. If cheesecake pan is not airtight, cover bottom securely with foil before adding water.

5. Bake 45 to 55 minutes, (for the small portion 20-30 minutes), until it is almost done - this can be hard to judge, but you're looking for the cake to hold together, but still have a lot of jiggle to it in the center. You don't want it to be completely firm at this stage. Close the oven door, turn the heat off, and let rest in the cooling oven for one hour. This lets the cake finish cooking and cool down gently enough so that it won't crack on the top. After one hour, remove cheesecake from oven and lift carefully out of water bath. Let it finish cooling on the counter, and then cover and put in the fridge to chill. Once fully chilled, it is ready to serve.

** Cafe au lait cheesecake with caramel - take 1/4 cup of the heavy cream (for small portion take 2 tbsp of cream) and heat it in the microwave for a short amount of time until very hot. Add 1-2 tbsp. instant espresso or instant coffee; stir to dissolve. Add this to the remainder of cream and use as normal. Top cheesecake with homemade caramel sauce

Make the caramel sauce:

Combine the sugar and water in a heavy saucepan and stir well to mix. Put the cream and salt in a second small saucepan (or put in the microwave proved measuring cup). Place the first pan on medium heat and cook undisturbed until the sugar begins to melt and caramelize-you’ll see a few wisps of smoke coming out of the sugar. Reduce the heat to low and stir occasionally so that the sugar melts and caramelizes evenly. Remove it from the heat when the caramel is still very pale (the sugar will continue to darken off the heat). Slide the pan with the cream onto the burner. As soon as the cream has some bubbles around the edge (if using microwave put the cup in the microwave and heat for 40 seconds), add it to the caramel at arm’s length, averting your face—the caramel will boil up and may splatter out of the pan. Pour the diluted caramel into a medium bowl and cool it to room temperature.

April 2009 Daring Bakers Challenge #29: Cheesecake Centerpiece,
Cafe au lait cheesecake with caramel sauce

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Banana Mascarpone Roll: Simply sweet!

I know that I like mascarpone cheese so much, and it turn out that I always have a box of it in my fridge ^ ^.
But how can you resist it? With soft and lightly sweet flavors, it's great with almost everything.
Mascarpone cheese is sweeter than cream cheese so it can be use with fruit without giving a tangy taste! And this time I found the recipe from the book name: ..................

The idea of cheese and banana always get my attention, haha, may be because both of them are my childhood favorites (ok, I love to eat almost everything, ^ ^, esp. the soft and baby food like).

This cake is very easy, chiffon cake is softer than simple sponge (and easier to make too). It's better to put the cake in the refrigerator before serving, it will be neater when you cut it.
And if you need some special taste, add a little bit of banana or chocolate liquor into the filling will brighten up this simple cake.

Banana Mascarpone Roll: Simply sweet!
Makes 1 roll (about 28 cm.)

Chiffon roll

Cake flour
Egg yolks
Egg whites
Salad oil
¼ tsp
Vanilla extract


Mascarpone cheese
Whipping cream
Medium size banana

For decorating

Icing sugar

Cocoa powder

Preheat the oven to180°C
Line the base of 30X30 cm pan with baking paper.
Sift the flour and set aside.

Beat the egg yolk with half of the sugar until light, then gradually add the oil, vanilla and water.

Pour the flour into the egg mixture, whisk to combine.

Beat the egg white with the rest of the sugar until stiff peaks form.

Fold the egg white into the egg and flour mixture, until combine.

Pour the batter into the pan, level the batter.
Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden.

Make the fill:

Beat the mascarpone cheese until soften, then add the sugar and milk. Mix until combine.

Whip the whipping cream until soft peak.
Fold into the cheese mixture.

Spread the filling over the cake, place the banana over the filling.
Roll the cake, put the cake in the refrigerator for 2 hour before serving.

Sprinkle the icing sugar and cocoa powder over the cake. The cake is now ready ^ ^.

Banana Mascarpone Roll: Simply sweet!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Sweet Corn Bread: Rolled corn bread

I love to eat sweet corn, in Thailand they are boiled whole and dip in the salted water. The fresher the sweeter. But when they are unavailable, the frozen or the caned one will do, ^ ^.

This bread is very soft, and very fragrance, because the dough using 2 yolks than whole egg. The sweetness of the corn is great when combines with the soft and sweet bread.

The recipe comes from ...............I love this book now, haha. There are many sections of this book that is very interesting, like simple bread and variation, easy to make, French toasted, sandwich, quick bread and many kind of bread recipes. I will show inside of the book next time, ^_^.

Anyway, I think this bread is very easy to make and anyone who love eating corn will love it as I do.

Sweet Corn Bread: Rolled corn bread
Makes 8 (8cm ramekins)

150g (net weight)
Caned sweet corn


Bread flour
Instant yeast
Sea salt
100 ml
Egg yolks
Unsalted butter

Egg wash
Egg yolk + 1tbsp water (mix together)

Put the flour, the sugar and yeast in a bowl, whisk to combine, add and salt whisk again. Pour the liquids mixture into the bowl.

Use large spoon (or pastry scraper) to mix everything together, and knead briefly to bring all the ingredients together.

Take the dough out of the bowl and knead, you will see the dough will be elastic after about 2 minutes.

Add the butter and knead by using the heel of your hands to compress and push the dough away from you, then fold it back over itself (see the picture here). Give the dough a little turn and repeat. Put the weight of your body into the motion and get into a rhythm. Keep folding over and compressing the dough.

Knead for 10-15 minutes (up to your strength and up to the recipe) or until the dough is soft, pliable, smooth and slightly shiny, almost satiny.

Put the dough into a light buttered bowl. Let the dough rise in a warm place until double in size about 1 hour.

Brush 8 ramekins well with butter.
Roll the dough into 20x30 cm square.
Spread the corn over the dough, then roll into the cylinder.

Cut into 8 pieces and place into the prepared ramekins.
Let the dough rise until almost double in size.

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

When the dough is ready, brush with egg wash, then put the dough into the oven.
Bake for 15 minutes, or until the dough is golden.
Let the bread cool on the wire rack.

Sweet Corn Bread: Rolled corn bread

Saturday, April 18, 2009

FRUITCAKES: Special occasion or not, I love it anyway!

This cake seen to be special, for the fact that most of the time we make it for Christmas. But you know me, I don't care about the occasion, haha, as long as it's delicious.

Last month I got an e-mail from someone, who wanted a recipe for a fruitcake that is not too sweet. Fruitcake is very sweet from the dried fruits but this recipe uses a lot of nut too and I use less sugar than the original recipe. I use only 220g of sugar but if you want less sweet you can use only 200g of sugar.

For the dried fruits you can use 2½ pounds of your favorite dried fruits, anything that you like, but don't forget to cut them into the same size. And for the fruits I let it stand for 1 week before using it (last time I make Light Fruit Cake: Easy Festive Cake! I felt so lazy I didn't want to wait for any minute ^ ^).


2½ cups (15 ounces)
2½ cups (15 ounces)
Golden raisins
2 cups (9 ounces)
Dried currants
2 cups (11 ounces)
Dried sour cherries
2½ cups (9 ounces)
Dried cranberries
1 cup (5 ounces)
Dried apricots, cut into ¼ -inch dice
¾ cup
1 cup
Cognac, Armagnac, or other brandy
3 sticks (1½ cups)
Unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
2¼ cups
Bread flour, plus more for pans
1 tablespoon
Coarse salt
1½ teaspoons
Ground ginger
1½ teaspoons
Ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon
Ground cloves
1½ cups (5 ounces)
Walnuts, coarsely chopped
1¼ cups
Sugar ( I use 220g)
Large eggs
1½ cups
Apricot jam

Assorted nuts and dried fruits, for garnish (optional)

In a large nonreactive container (glass, ceramic, or plastic), combine the dried fruits, honey, and Cognac; set aside to macerate at room temperature for at least 24 hours, or up to 2 weeks, covered with plastic wrap.

Preheat the oven to 275°F. Generously butter and flour two 8-by-3-inch round cake pans; tap out any excess flour, and set aside. Sift the flour, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves into a large bowl. Stir in the walnuts, and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition to incorporate, and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Transfer to a large bowl. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the flour-nut mixture and the drained fruit mixture; stir to evenly distribute fruits and nuts.

Divide the batter between the prepared pans. Bake until a cake tester inserted in the centers comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached, 2 hours to 2 hours 15 minutes. Transfer pans to a wire rack to cool completely. Invert cakes onto rack to re move from pans. Reinvert, top sides up.

To decorate cakes, combine the apricot jam with ½ cup water in a small saucepan; stir until melted and combined. Strain through a fine sieve into a bowl.

While jam is still hot, brush it liberally over cakes. Garnish cakes with additional dried fruits and nuts, if using, and top with a final coat of hot jam.

FRUITCAKES: Special occasion or not, I love it!


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