yes, i’ve been on a baking craze lately, on average once a week. i’ve been wanting to bake more often than the ‘once-in-a-blue-moon’ impromptu baking and yay, i’m doing it!

Reb and i gathered thrice – twice to bake pandan chiffon cake with the happycall pan which failed (so i’ll not talk about this till i get it right) 😦 and another time to bake digestive biscuit cheesecake which turned out yummy!
the kid helped with pounding the digestive biscuits
digestive cheesecake
this is the recipe from a blog, but instead of oreos, we used digestive
there you go, we like it that there’s digestive bits in the cheese part too!
digestive cheesecake2

i’m a bread lover, and i’ve always wish to have freshly baked bread at home, and i did it, without a bread machine!!
Spelt bread
2 tbsp olive oil
660g spelt flour
1 tbsp active dried yeast
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp natural yogurt
butter, for greasing

1. Grease medium bowl with oil, set aside
2. In large bowl, mix together flour, yeast & salt. Add olive oil, yogurt & 375ml of lukewarm water. Mix with hands till it has nearly all come together, adding 1-2 tbsp water if necessary.
3. Tip contents onto work surface & knead by stretching the dough away from you, then gathering it back, turning it 90 degree & repeating, working in all of the flour as you knead till incorporated. Dough might seem a lil’ dry at first, but the ingredients will come together as you work it. Knead for 10mins till smooth & elastic. If dough sticking to hands, add flour a lil’ at a time, if too dry, add water.
4. Transfer dough to oiled bowl, rubbing oil over the surface of dough. Put a clean, damp cloth on surface of dough & chill for 24hrs. Alternatively, if you don’t want to wait for a long fermentation & want to bake the loaf on the same day, leave uncovered dough to rise at room temp for 90-120mins till doubled in size, then skip step 5 & go directly to step 6.
5. Take dough out of fridge & knock it back thoroughly o get all of the air out. Turn it onto work surface. Knead for 1min, shape into a ball & put it back in bowl. Cover again with damp cloth & put it back in fridge for a further 24hrs.
6. Grease a baking sheet with butter. Turn dough onto work surface & knock it back thoroughly. Knead for 1min, then shape it into a ball & put it on baking sheet. Cover with damp cloth & leave to rise at room temp for 60-90mins until doubled in size.
7. Preheat oven 220C. Remove cloth & bake for 10mins, then reduce to 190C & bake for another 20mins till loaf is golden brown & sounds hollow when tapped. For storage: Put in airtight container for up to 4 days. Dough can be made to end of Step 1 & frozen in airtight plastic bag for up to 3 mths. To bake, put dough on a greased baking sheet, leave to come to room temp & then rise for 1hr. Bake as in Step 7.
spelt bread dough
erm, the dough was too huge for my small hands to knead, very tiring, so i split to 3 smaller doughs. i didn’t exactly let it ferment for 48hrs in total, but close…the bread was pretty dense, pretty dry, at 1st bite, it didn’t taste tat great, but the more i ate, the more i like the texture & taste of it but because it’s very dense, i got full after only a hand-sized amount and kept me full for a long time! its tiring to make cos of the kneading but it was fun! besides, nothin’ beats freshly baked wholesome bread for brekkie!
spelt bread

next up, i made polvorones (a traditional Spanish cookie, also known as Mexican wedding cookies). well i made animal-shaped cookies, i think flower-shaped or regular-shaped cookies are more suited for weddings though…erm, i think i’ve left the dough out for too long, the butter melted to make it pretty moist & crumbly, plus i only have plastic cookie cutters which don’t make a clean, nice mold. so as you can tell, i made 2 successful elephants, 2 successful hippos, 1 poor elephant with the legs chopped off & 1 miserable teddy, with the head barely intact…the rest erm, you think i can make up the world map?? hah…anyways, the kid still happily chomped down, elephant or not, with legs or not. the cookies are supposed to be soft in texture & melts in the mouth. fortunately, it turned out to be so even when i couldn’t deliver in appearance 😀
(recipe from “okashi sweet treats made with love”-same book i made biscuit sponge & green tea tiramisu with wen & also green tea sable cookies i did)

after the 2 failed attempt at chiffon cake, i wanted to try again but using the usual oven method…i chose black sesame chiffon cake (partly for Reb as she was so distraught after the 2nd failed attempt, unfortunately she’s not quite a sesame person, especially the seeds, but she’s happy to see the light fluffy texture).
this is the batter, the sesame fragrance smelt sooo good!
sesame chiffon
the meringue, i have to say i get quite a thrill everytime i see the stiff peaks forming…oh how can anyone do without an electric mixer?? (btw i got a new one after my lousy, low watt old one surrendered when we attempted pandan chiffon no.1 and we made meringue by hand!!)
sesame chiffon2
and of course, my ever enthusiastic lil’ helper folding in the meringue with the batter
sesame chiffon3
the amount fitted nicely in 2 cute pans (17cm)
sesame chiffon4
doesn’t it looked cute, spongey & yummy?
(again recipe taken from okashi :D)
sesame chiffon5

…. and the baking craze continues!