Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Pinwheel Biscuits

As I've stocked up in my pantry last weekend, I became so excited to start baking something.... anything.... that I asked out loud to my family. They got so adventurous that they start looking into my recipe books & suggesting all sorts of ideas. I stopped them before it got out of hand & told them to give me a break & let me bake something simple - biscuits, cookies.

So all three of them (dear hubby, daughter & son) concluded on Pinwheel Biscuits, which uses hazelnut filling (aka Nutella). When the biscuits were baked, I realized that I've scrooged on the filling. Therefore it didn't come out as I'd expected.

Anyways as I've mentioned in my Tweet, it's a little on the buttery shortbread type of biscuit. The dough needs to be refrigerated before spreading the filling.

Pinwheel Biscuits

1 1/4 cups plain flour
100g butter, chopped (I used salted)
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 egg yolk
1 tblsp fresh milk (approximately)
1/3 cup chocolate hazelnut spread (aka Nutella)
2 tblsp hazelnut meal

1. Process flour, butter & sugar until crumbly. Add egg yolk, process with enough milk until mixture forms a ball. Knead dough on floured surface until smooth. Cover, refrigerate 1 hour.

2. Roll dough between sheets of baking paper to form 20cm x 30cm rectangle; remove top sheet of paper. Spread dough evenly with hazelnut spread; sprinkle with hazelnut meal. Using paper as a guide, roll dough tightly from long side to enclose filling (pull the paper away from you, slowly). Enclose roll in plastic wrap; refrigerate 30mins.

3. Preheat oven to 160C. Grease oven trays, lined with baking paper.

4. Remove plastic wrap; cut roll into 1cm slices, place slices on trays 2cm apart. Bake about 20mins. Stand pinwheels on trays 5mins before transferring to wire rack to cool.

Makes about 30.

Pinwheel Biscuits

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Gong Xi Fa Cai

To everyone, especially friends who are celebrating the Lunar New Year ~


May the year of the tiger brings you more prosperity & most importantly good health.


Final wishlist

Enough of being indecisive. Let's get down to business. I really have got to start putting my thoughts & ideas into action for my cousin's engagement ceremony.

So here are my wishlist:

1. Croquembouche
2. Fruit Tart
3. Cupcakes
4. Brownie Platter
5. Custard Puff
6. Mini cupcakes

Out of the six, I wonder how many I'll eventually do. It's all about time-management (am I advising myself? I suppose so..).

Anyways, I'll make use of this festive season to run through everything (finer details included) & start pantry shopping next week.

P.S: The more I look at the list, I'm inclined to believe that only no.1, 3 & 4 will get my attention, although I'd really want to include no.5, since I'll be making the Croquembouche. It makes more sense, aint it?

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Still contemplating

I haven't been feeling well. This is probably due to insufficient rest since last November & lack of sleep lately. But I am so looking forward to the long weekend this week, due to the Lunar New Year celebrations (yay!)

With regards to my cousin's engagement on the 28th of this month, I am still indecisive of what / which goodie I should be doing for the gifts exchange. There are a couple of ideas though...

As for the guests, I'm not sure if I should contribute in this area. Not that I don't want to but one of my aunts, who is very good at making traditional desserts, is in charge of this. But then, no harm in mixing a little of traditional goodies with modern ones.

If I'm going to contribute in both the gifts exchange & desserts, now will I have enough time to prepare? Hhmmm.... I hope I'm able to take leave that week (fingers & toes crossed).

Meantime, let me finalize the list first.

Till the next entry. Hopefully I'll feel much better then.

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Cranberry Almond Biscotti

I tried my hands on biscotti about 2 weeks ago (I think! This is the result of outdated posts, I can't recall when exactly). Although this biscuit do not get a second glance from me in any cafes, my tasting experience last Hari Raya changed my mind.

Nothing against the (hard) texture of biscotti, it is meant to be dipped into your cuppa. But the ones I tasted last year, which was bought and given a packet to me by SIL, were of the 'right' crispy texture. And they were delicious! Then I thought I should try baking biscotti myself.

It didn't happen until January 2010. I started looking for the recipes and found one I could experiment with. The whole process took about 2hrs. Afterwhich they were kept in airtight container & stored (not for long since I have 2 little monster boys).

I have mixed feelings (or should I say, "taste") about the end result of the biscotti. I'm not sure that it was the 'right' texture. Hhmmmm.... Anyways, I am always on the prowl for different recipes to experiment with.

Here's one that you can try & if you do, please feedback.

Cranberry Almond Biscotti

Cranberry Almond Biscotti

Makes 16-20 pieces

2/3 cup caster sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 cup flaked almonds
1/2 cup dried cranberries

1. Preheat oven to 177C and place oven rack in centre of oven.

2. Beat sugar & eggs on high speed until thick, pale & fluffy *When you slowly raise the beaters, the batter will fall back into bowl in slow ribbons.

3. In a separate bowl, whick flour, baking powder & salt. Add to the egg mixture & beat until combined.

4. Fold in the flaked almonds & cranberries.

5. Transfer dough to parchment paper lined on baking tray. Form into a log (like french loaf) about 30cm long & 9cm wide. You may have to dampen your hands to form the log as the dough is quite sticky.

6. Bake for 25 minutes or until firm, Remove from heat & let cool on wire rack about 10 minutes.

7. Reduce oven temperature to 165C. Transfer log onto cutting board & cut into 2cm slices, at a diagonal. Place the biscotti cut side down, on the baking sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes, then slices over & bake for another 10 minutes (or until golden brown for both sides).

8. Remove from oven and let cool. Once cooled, store in an airtight container.