July 31, 2010

Almond Cookies

(SHhH! I ate a cookie while taking the photos. ^-^*)

A cup of green tea with one or two cookies- that's how I like to relax in the afternoon.

July 30, 2010

Banana Bread Love 1

Banana bread with walnuts and cranberries. 

Some people like banana bread plain, with nothing but banana flavor.  I like the difference in texture, flavor, and color.  Soft, sweet, nutty, crunchy, tart, and sweet again.  Each bite is a surprise, and that's what I love.

July 28, 2010

Banh Cong & Banh Tom Chien-(Fried Shrimp and Chips Cluster)

Fried shrimp cakes with clusters of fries.  Sorry, I have no idea what to call these in English.  But this is one of the traditional and lesser known Vietnamese dish.  Wiki doesn't even have a page for me to link you! :(  There is a video on Youtube showing you how to cook it, if you can understand Vietnamese.  It's much better if you can make it at home, because you get more filling, rather than dough.  I don't like when restaurants try to cheap out and give you more dough and a smaller grade of shrimp, which would dry up during the cooking. 

The coconut milk batter and mung bean filling is filled into small muffin shaped ladle, topped with a raw shrimp, and then lowered into hot oil to be fried.  The fried cakes kind of magically release themselves from the mold after they've been cooked for a while.  You know they're ready when they're crispy and golden brown!  These are eaten with seasoned, preferably spicy, sweet and sour fish sauce and wrapped in lettuce and herbs.  
Another version of the shrimp cakes would be replacing the muffin shaped cakes with clusters of potato sticks (or french fries).  I used sweet potato here, because they taste better.  The sticks of potatoes are coated in a tapioca-rice batter and a shrimp would stick to it, forming a cluster when fried up.  I actually love eating the battered cluster of fries sans shrimp, because they'd stay crispy for some time and then turn chewy after.  But chewy in a good way!   Great to snack with hot sauce.

::Happy BirthDaY::

!   !   !   !  Happy Birthday to YOU !  !  !  !
I somehow didn't buy enough cream to make the frosting, so I couldn't decorate it too much.  Not a very grand cake, but he didn't care as long as he had cake on his birthday.

And I still have yet learn how to write neatly on a birthday cake.  So hard to do with chocolate frosting.. But it's something I must learn to do!
Happy Birthday, cowboy

July 27, 2010

Chocolate Banana Brownie

☆ Chocolate Banana Brownie 
With walnuts & cinnamon
The brownies weren't very dense and fudgey.  More like cakey-brownies.  I don't like a thick glaze on my brownies, so I didn't glaze them.
I was going to bake a chocolate banana bread (hence, why they're not dense brownies), but couldn't find my loaf pan anywhere!  So I had to bake it in a sheet pan, and cut it into squares!
And I couldn't find my cooling racks either! So these were cooled in the pan they're baked in..  Where are all my baking tools??! 
Brownies all gone!  Love them warm, straight out of the oven!

July 21, 2010

Chocolate biscotti

Are biscotti the only cookies that are acceptable to eat for breakfast?  Because you can have it with your morning coffee.

This was my first time baking biscotti, and it's kind of a failed one.  Not sure what I did wrong, because I ended up adding a bunch of uncalled for ingredients into the cookie dough.  Maybe that's what's wrong!  Adding additional ingredients and that messed up the ratio between the flour:eggs:oil!

• Do I really want extra dark chocolate chips in mine as well as melted dark chocolate?  YES.
• Do I want to add a bit of butter?  YES, don't be afraid of a little butter!
• How about a little ground almond?  Might as well, so I can wash the container!
• Got some extra walnuts?  Yes, dump that in too.  To clean up the extra odds and ends in my baking cabinet.

By this time, the dough looked nothing like it's supposed to.  But let's pop this in the oven anyway and wonder for an hour if they'll end up being dumped in the trash.
Nah.. they still came out deliciously crunchy and chocolatey in the end.

Maybe next time, I will make ginger-chocolate biscotti!

Back in business!

Pink Cat's Bakery is open again!  Let's get rolling with some egg-rolling!  These are traditional Vietnamese egg rolls, called chả giò.   To be honest, this is one of the only Vietnamese food that's not good if you make it vegetarian.  Has to be made with PORK and has to be crispy!  Or else, it's not even worth eating.

Here's a secret if you're making them:  Roll these egg rolls ahead and freeze them in a single layer.  After they're hard frozen, you can stack them up and wrap in foil paper.  Then when you're ready to eat, SLOWLY and carefully drop the still frozen egg rolls into hot oil.  Once they float up, and golden brown.  They're ready!

Best part- The egg rolls will stay crispy for a long time if you fry them this way.  Because, who wants to eat a soggy egg roll?

Going back to what I love doing ^-^*

That's baking!

And baking for people that I love.  I'll be baking, making, and creating some (hopefully) very good cakes, sweets, and savories, and whatever is on my mind that day.

And I'll be sharing them all with you!

The picture above is the last strawberry sponge cake that I made.  I ended this blog with a slice of it, so now I'm going to pick up where I left off.  Giving you a whole cake 6 months later.

Enjoy, and hope you'll continue to read!