Friday, June 27, 2008

Hands-on cookie baking for kids

I did not send my children for any enrichment classes during the holidays at all, felt a little guilty. So when I read in the papers about many parents sending their children for cookie baking and decoration workshops, I decided to try that at home.

Chose a simple recipe from Wilton's year book and let my kids help scoop flour, sugar, etc. They had fun, but they also made a huge mess, with my daughter trying to pick up every grain of sugar she dropped on the table to put into her mouth.
Here is my 'almost three' year old daughter working hard to roll the dough. Notice the beads of perspiration and smudges of flour on her forehead.

And my 'almost 5' year old boy hard at work too...

The results (a sample of them.. forgot to take pictures of the baked cookies) :

- Its fun and cheap to do this at home, but messy
- Needs patient on part of the parent, no wonder some parents pay others to do this
- The wilton recipe is far too sweet
- Not sure if its over-handling of the dough, the cookie is hard like stone
- Girls seems naturally better than boys on this, my girl proved it

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Mermaid cake

Baked this mermaid cake for my niece for her 9th birthday. I think this is probably the most colourful cake I have ever made. Its fresh cream cake with blueberry filling. Mermaid, flowers, crab and starfishes are fondant.

Here's a closer look at the mermaid. Heee.. a fat mermaid, not quite like my skinny weeny niece.

Back view. Looks a little plain...

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Happy Fathers' Day

On 15 June, I had my family over to celebrate fathers' day.

My hubby and MIL made delicious laksa and chicken rice and I baked a little cake.

Unfortunately, my oven was cranky. I believe the thermostat is not functional. For a 30 minute program, it keep stopping at every 5 minutes or less and my cake got burnt. The sides of the cake were black, so were the to and bottom. Fortunately, the inside was still good, so I managed to salvage the cake, albiet a very little one after shaving all the burnt parts away.

So here's the mango cake we had for fathers' day. Too dismayed to make an elaborate design, so just some simple piping with fresh cream.

Happy Father's day to all fathers. God bless.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Yummy-licious Carrot Cake

My husband is a fan of carrot cakes and can't stop raving about the carrot cakes from Cedele. Rightfully so.. Cedele carrot cakes are moist and oh-so-generous with their carrots and walnuts. As for me, I am no fan of 'sweets'. I rarely ever finish a piece of cake by myself, usually just pinch a few small bites from hubby.

The last time I baked a carrot cake was for his birthday last year. I remembered it as laborious and extremely sweet, definitely not trying that recipe again. Searched the internet and decided to use the one from Allrecipes.

The result was extra-ordinary!! I had many rave reviews. My hubby said it was better than Cedele's and not overly sweet. Maybe he said that to please me (considering I am heavily pregnant now....). Either way, I am grateful for the compliment. Here's a pic of the cake. The fork in the foreground was my son eagerly waiting to dig-in.

My FIL and MIL enjoyed the cake too. A family friend also commented that its as good as Cedele's. Ha ha.. think I'm surrounded by very kind people who tries to please a heavily pregnant woman!

As for me.. well.. I did manage to polish off a single slice of the cake. Here's the recipe if you are keen to try.

4 eggs
1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
2 cups white sugar (I used 1 cup brown, 1 cup white)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 cups grated carrots
1 cup chopped pecans (I used walnuts instead)

1/2 cup butter, softened
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
4 cups confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9x13 inch pan.
In a large bowl, beat together eggs, oil, white sugar and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Mix in flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Stir in carrots. Fold in pecans. Pour into prepared pan.
Bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.
To Make Frosting: In a medium bowl, combine butter, cream cheese, confectioners' sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Stir in chopped pecans. Frost the cooled cake.

Note : I recommend to line the cake pan with baking paper. I only greased my cake pan and the cake got stuck. When I tried to force it out of the pan, it broke into many pieces.

Hope you and your family enjoyed it too!