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Many of my recipes are South-East-Asian inspired.

This is because I miss the taste of home and love to incorporate the food that I used to love into my day-to-day home-baking and cooking.

When I was a child, my grandma used to cook Bubur Pulut Hitam specially for me and I always to ask her to serve mine with the most coconut cream. I was such a lucky fatty girl! LOL!

Bubur Pulut Hitam is an all-time popular Malaysian / Singapore sweet black glutinous rice porridge that is served with coconut milk or cream as a warm or chilled dessert. Yummy!

I have seen many Bubur Pulut Hitam cake recipes created by Malaysian/ Singapore bloggers and tasted several Bubur Pulut Hitam cakes when I was in Singapore but none of them is what I wanted!

Am I too fussy? Actually, I just want a Bubur Pulut Hitam Chiffon Cake that is fully loaded with Bubur Pulut Hitam! That's all!

However, the recipes and cakes that I have seen and tasted are made with finely ground black glutinous rice flour. And there is no chewy Bubur Pulut Hitam bits and pieces that I would love to taste in my cakes.

Hence, after several trial-and-error baking, I have managed to create this very soft and moist chiffon cake that was made with the maximal amount of Pulut Hitam and coconut fragrance! And I'm proud to say that this is my best Bubur Pulut Hitam Chiffon Cake recipe!

Proudly presenting my Very Soft and Moist Fully-Loaded Bubur Pulut Hitam Chiffon Cake

My Very Soft and Moist Fully-Loaded Bubur Pulut Hitam Chiffon Cake is made with:

1) the maximal amount of real Bubur Pulut Hitam dessert, not black glutinous rice flour.
I actually gave one large slice of my cake to my Singaporean colleague to try. He said that the cake is delicious but will be nice if there is MORE Bubur Pulut Hitam! I tried to explain that this is actually the MAX amount that I can incorporate into this cake. Any further increase of the wet ingredients will make the cake rather flat and gummy as the densely wet batter will have inadequate strength to rise.

2) NO coconut oil.
Have you noticed that most cakes that are made with either liquid and solid coconut oil do not have a nice tasty golden brown crust? By the way, have you also noticed that liquid coconut oil has NO coconut fragrance and taste at all? Thus, it is pointless to use liquid coconut oil if my purpose is to incorporate more coconut taste into my cakes! Plus, I WANT my chiffon cakes to have a delicious golden brown crust!!! Do you?

3) Coconut flour!
(commonly available in most baking supply or health shops or most supermarkets in Australia)
I have discovered that this amazing highly coconut-flavoured ingredient can absorb moisture very well. So, this means that I can add more Pulut Hitam into the cake and the coconut flour can absorb all of the extra moisture! The best thing is it can retain the moisture in the baked cake, resulting the cake to stay moist and yummy for days. How awesome is that?

However, I have to warn you that the amount of coconut flour added into the chiffon cake has to be in right proportion!

Why?

See! This is the initial Pulut Hitam Chiffon Cake that I have baked with NO coconut flour. It is fully loaded with Pulut Hitam but it is too wet and tender. After cooling, it shrunk too much and can't even stand properly.
Testing testing...
This is my initial Pulut Hitam Chiffon Cake with NO coconut flour.
It looks really good when it is in the cake pan.
... but but but
Even though the un-mould cake has nice fine and soft cottony texture,
it shrink so much that it can't even stand properly!
This is my final Pulut Hitam Chiffon Cake that contains coconut flour.
Although it has slightly coarser spongy texture,
it can contain the most amount of Pulut Hitam that I have tried and seen!

Best of all and most importantly, my Fully-Loaded Bubur Pulut Hitam Chiffon Cake is very soft, moist and delicious!!!

I hope that you will try my recipe and understand why I said that it is good...

Watch my video to see how I baked it.

My Best Pulut Hitam Chiffon Cake Recipe - YouTube
Music: Bensound

If you like my blog and recipes, please LIKE, SHARE and FOLLOW me my Facebook at here or here or my Instagram @zoebakeforhappykids ... because every LIKE, SHARE and FOLLOW from you will motivate me to bake more and share more recipes. Thank you!!!

Here's my recipe that is modified from Honey Sweet Bee.

I love Bee's recipes! She is super awesome. However, I had to modify her recipe to incorporate more Pulut Hitam and avoid the use of coconut oil.

IMPORTANT: Please use the exact weight and make sure that all ingredients are at room temperature.

Makes one tall and perfect 8-inch (20 cm) chiffon cake

To cook and prepare the less-sweetened gula Melaka Pulut Hitam purée :
100g black glutinous rice
500ml (2 cups) water, plus more if required
2 pandan leaves, roughly shredded and knotted
60g gula Melaka, finely shaved
1/2 tsp salt

Note: This is the minimal amount that I usually cook and we can enjoy the leftover as our dessert with a generous drizzle of light coconut milk.

Wash rice with adequate water. Place them in container with excess amount of cold water and soak for at least 12 hours, overnight with a cover. To avoid the rice from going off at room temperature, soak the rice at room temperature for the first 2 hrs, then in the fridge for the next 10 hrs.

After soaking, drain rice and discard water. Then, rinse the rice again with adequate cold water.

Place rice, 250ml water and pandan leaves in a medium cooking pot with lid. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low and allow rice to simmer with occasion stirring for about 1 hr, or until the rice is very soft and tender. The pulut hitam mixture should be wet and sticky. If the mixture is too dry and the rice is not cooked to tender yet, add 1/4 to 1/2 cup water if necessary and continue to cook until the rice is tender. If too much water has been added, cook the rice with medium heat, constant stirring with NO lid until mixture is reduced to a sticky porridge-like mixture (but not completely dry like cooked rice texture).

When the rice is cooked to tender, stir in gula Melaka and salt until the sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from the heat. Discard pandan leaves and set aside to cool slightly.

When the rice is are still warm, use a blender or a hand held processor to process the rice and its liquid, making sure that the purée is well-processed and it's ok if there is some small bits and pieces in the purée. Do not leave the rice to be thoroughly cooled before processing because the completely cooled rice will be stickier and you will need to add water to process them. Weigh out 200g to use later and set it aside to cool completely.

For the egg white mixture:
240g egg whites (about 7-8)
100g caster sugar - Please do not reduce this essential amount of sugar

For the unsweetened egg yolk mixture:
90g egg yolk (about 5-6)
30g neutral tasting vegetable oil, preferably not coconut oil**
100g coconut milk, fat reduced with 13% fat*
200g cooked thick pulut hitam purée - see above
120g cake flour with 8% protein
15g coconut flour - please do not replace this with cake flour!
2g (1/2 tsp) salt

*Please check the nutrition content of the coconut milk that you are using. If the fat reduced coconut milk with 13% fat is unavailable, you can use 45g regular coconut milk with 24% fat plus 45g coconut water. If you are baking the cake in a cold day and the coconut milk is rather curdly, you can warm it up slightly in a microwave with low power until it is smooth again.

** Coconut oil is very heat stable and is made of high amount of saturated fat. Therefore, it will make chiffon cake brown lesser and more structurally stable. So this means that the cake can be slightly less softer at cool room temperature!

Preheat oven to 160°C with top and bottom heating. Please do not use fan forced heating!

For the egg white mixture:
Using an electric mixer with a whisk attachment, beat egg whites in lowest speed for at least 10 mins to stabilise the egg white mixture.

While the mixture is beating, prepare and whisk egg yolk mixture.

For the egg yolk mixture:
Using a hand whisk, whisk egg yolks and oil in a large mixing bowl until mixture is combined. Then, whisk in coconut milk and 200g cooked pulut hitam purée until combined. Sift in flour, coconut flour and salt and whisk gently until the batter is smooth and combined. Set aside.

Back to the beating of egg white mixture:
Increase beating speed to the next higher speed. While beating, add sugar gradually. Increase beating speed to the next higher speed and continue to beat until stiff peaks form. The egg white mixture should be very smooth with tiny bubbles. Do not over-beat the mixture or use too high speed to beat the mixture.

Using a hand whisk or a spatula, gently fold in the egg whites to the egg yolks mixture in 3-4 batches. It is ok to mix the 1st batch of egg white more vigorously into the egg yolk mixture but the subsequent portions must be folded in very gently. Make sure that most of the white is not visible after folding.

Pour batter into an un-greased 20 cm chiffon tube pan. Give the pan a gentle tap to remove any large air bubbles.

Chiffon baking options:
Basic - Bake at 160°C for 50-55 mins until it is thoroughly baked. IMPORTANT: This cake has high liquid content and needs to be baked for at least 50 mins in total. Cover the top of your cake very loosely with a piece of foil when it turns brown too quickly at the last 15-20 mins of baking.

With slits - This chiffon cake baking strategy will help the cake to rise uniformly rising with minimal cracks. The cake will also have a deep flavoursome top and surrounding crust.

Bake at 160°C for at least 15 mins or until a "skin" has formed on the cake surface and just before the cake surface starts to crack.

At the 10th to 14th minute, remove the cake out from oven. Cut 6 or more slits on the cake surface and place the cake back into the oven immediately. Continue to bake at 140°C for another 50 mins or until it is thoroughly baked. Increase oven temperature to 160°C and bake for another 10 mins or until the top skin of the cake is nicely browned.

Please do not bake this cake with too low oven temperature or a tray of boiling water (also known as steam bake). Detailed explanation is at here.

After baking, invert the cake immediately to cool on a wire rack. Allow the cake to cool completely in the pan before removing it from the pan. Do not unmould the cake by pressing it! The cake is very fragile!!! To unmould, please use a blunt thin plastic spatula or knife to run along the cake's edges and gently push the cake out from the pan.

Slice with a serrated knife and serve.

Store any uneaten in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. And it is still very soft and moist even on the 3rd day of bake!

Enjoy!!!

Happy Baking
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These pandan onde onde is PERFECT!!!

Just like the sweet potato onde onde that I made at here, they are chewy and also tender!

The dough is also easier to handle and I can even incorporate more gula Melaka filling than usual!

This is why every piece of these pandan onde onde that I eat will explode with lots of gula Melaka syrup inside my mouth! Wow! They are so delicious!!!


Happy that I have found my BEST Pandan Onde Onde recipe!!!
"Come. Try these onde onde!"

I was excited! Knowing that these onde onde would explode with lots of gula Melaka syrup, I watched my husband and son very closely when they popped the onde onde into their mouths. Within a second or two, I saw their eye-popping expression! LOL!!! These are my priceless moments!

How did I made these onde onde so perfect?

My answer is SWEET POTATO!!! Ta Dah!

I have been trying very hard to create this recipe as I have tried so many different ways and combination to incorporate both pandan extract and sweet potato into onde onde. Eventually, I found that the best way to do is to use a combination of sweet potato mash and sweet potato flour.

Watch my video to see how I made these PERFECT onde onde and I will share my cooking tips in my recipe.

In my video, you will see that these sweet potato onde onde is very easy to make. You see that I don't need to work quickly to avoid the dough from losing its moisture and I don't have to cook each wrapped dough immediately in a pot of boiling water. It is ok for the wrapped dough to sit and wait for about 10-15 mins while wrapping the rest of the onde onde but do not let them sit and wait for more than 15 mins.

My BEST Pandan Onde Onde Recipe - YouTube
  
These PERFECT onde onde are made with an optimised combination of...
sweet potato mash, sweet potato flour, pandan extract and glutinous rice flour.
These onde onde are packed with lots of gula Melaka syrup!
And their chewy tender texture is so OMG perfect!

I hope that you will like this recipe as much as we do.

If you like it, please LIKE, SHARE and FOLLOW me at either my Facebook at here or here or my Instagram @zoebakeforhappykids because every LIKE, SHARE and FOLLOW from you motivates me to work harder and share more of my prized recipes. Thank you for your support!

Here's the recipe.

Make 15-16 small bite-size onde onde

To hydrate the desiccated coconut:
2 tsp (10 ml) water
1/4 tsp salt
40g desiccated coconut

Note: Instead of using the desiccated coconut, you can use 40g freshly grated coconut if it is available and omit this hydration step.

Combine water and salt. Combine all into the desiccated coconut.

To hydrate:
1) steam with medium heat with occasional stirring for about 10 mins or until it is moist and fluffy.

Or 2) cover with cling wrap and microwave with low power for 20-30 secs, then stir. Repeat this cover, microwave and stirring step 3-4 times or until the coconut is moist and fluffy. Cover with cling wrap and allow to coconut to sit and cool down completely before using it.

To prepare pandan leaf extract:
9 pandan leaves
120ml (1/2 cup) water

Using a kitchen scissor, snip pandan leaves into small pieces and place them into a blender or a processor container with water and process. Place blitzed pandan over a muslin cloth and squeeze out the pandan juice.

For the onde onde:
50g freshly steamed warm white-flesh sweet potato mash
20g sweet potato flour
all of the above pandan leaf extract
50g glutinous rice flour, plus 25-30g more to adjust the texture of the dough

adequate finely shaved gula Melaka to fill onde onde

Mix sweet potato mash and sweet potato together until roughly combined.

Transfer pandan leaf extract in a small saucepan and bring it to boil but do not over-boil the extract! Remove from heat. Weigh and add 100g boiling pandan leaf extract into sweet potato mixture and mix immediately until it forms a wet thickened mixture.

Mix in 50g glutinous rice flour to create a wet dough. Add extra glutinous rice flour bit by bit (about 1/2-1 tsp each addition, about 25-30g in total) to adjust the texture of the dough accordingly. TIP: Dough should be pliable and easy to handle without any bits sticking to your hands.

Divide dough into 15-16 portions, about 15g per portion. Flatten dough and wrap adequate gula Melaka in all portions.

TIP: This dough is pretty easy to handle and you can wrap up to 3/4 tsp gula Melaka in each onde onde. If you are not confident, you should not flatten dough excessively and wrap about 1/2 tsp gula Melaka in each onde onde instead because the thinner dough will cause the onde onde to crack easily and the sugar filling will ooze out during cooking.

Cook the wrap dough in a pot of medium boiling water for about 5-10 mins or until they float on the boiling for at least 5 mins. TIP: Work quickly as the moisture of the dough can dry up pretty quickly. Although this dough is easier to handle than the dough that is made with less sweet potato mash than the onde onde at here, do not wait more than 15 mins after you have wrapped the gula Melaka into the dough because the wrapped dough tends to crack when it lose its moisture after 15 mins. Cook the onde onde immediately or within 15 mins after wrapping.

Coat well with the hydrated coconut immediately. Set aside to cool completely.

Serve and consume all within the same day.

Enjoy!
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Have you tried baking and LIKE my extremely soft very-apple-loaded honey sandwich bread recipe at here?

If your answer is YES, YAY!!!

If your answer is NO, Hmmm... I kinda know why. Although the apple-loaded sandwich breads at here are extremely soft and delicious, they will shrink after cooling. This is because the maximally apple-loaded bread dough can rise well enough to its maximum height but doesn't have enough gluten strength to hold its spongy air pockets after cooling.

Not perfect enough? Hmmm...

Hence today, I'm sharing ANOTHER SUPER SOFT apple honey sandwich bread that won't shrink after cooling! YES, LIKE and another YAY?

Proudly presenting...
My Super Soft Apple Honey Sandwich Bread Recipe Two
Delicious soft apple breads that won't shrink!

Why these super soft apple breads made by recipe two will not shrink but the ones made by recipe one shrunk?

Unlike my previous recipe one at here, this recipe two...

1) contains 50g more bread flour and this addition will make these apple-loaded breads strong enough to hold the spongy structure well after cooling. So for recipe two, it is ok to use most typical bread flour with 12% protein meaning the use of extra strong bread flour with 14% protein or the addition of gluten flour is not required!

2) bakes the breads with NO lids and egg wash so that the well-baked top crusts will make the breads more structurally stable and a little firmer BUT just a little less softer. If you are extra critical, you might say that these breads with the baked crusts are not EXTREMELY soft but the usual critical me reckon that the difference in softness is actually not significant. In fact, these nicely baked soft crusts kind of make these breads EXTRA DELICIOUS with an alluring baked buttery apple fragrance. YUM!

3) contains less 160g (less 45%) apple and the missing apple is replaced with just water so that the breads will be lighter and spongier. Plus, the gluten in the breads will have enough strength to hold the overall bread structure before and after cooling. Is this good or bad because there is less apple? I must say that these breads are comparatively good being moist, chewy and apple-licious just like the ones made with recipe one but of course, I can't deny that the breads made with the more apple and without the top crust are the moistest and softest!

See here...
More bread flour and less apple have made these non-shrinking breads taller and spongier!!!
And these spongy apple breads are so flexible and soft!!!
So soft that every slice drapes on my hand!

Please don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that my recipe One is not good or my recipe Two is better!

To conclude...
If you are after apple honey sandwich breads that are maximally loaded with apples and don't mind if they will shrink after cooling, please use my recipe ONE at here.

If you are after apple honey sandwich breads that are perfectly balanced with the added apples and won't shrink after cooling, please use my recipe TWO published in THIS post.

More-apple shrinking breads or the less-apple non-shrinking breads? To me, both recipes are equally fabulous! Thus, I have decided to share both recipes so you will have to decide! LOL!

Watch my video and see how I baked these super soft apple honey sandwich bread! So soft, spongy and tender and it won't shrink... but please be aware that slicing these soft and tender breads (both recipe ONE and TWO) can be challenging!!!

Perfect Super Soft Apple Honey Sandwich Bread - YouTube

Like my recipes?

If your answer is YES, it's a big YAY for me!!! And it will be nice if you can LIKE, SHARE and FOLLOW me my Facebook at here or here or my Instagram @zoebakeforhappykids because every LIKE, SHARE and FOLLOW from you will motivate a hardworking working mum like me to bake and share more! Thank you for your support!!!

Here's the recipe.

WARNING: This bread dough is fully loaded with many moist ingredients and can be sticky and difficult to knead initially. It will be good if you can a breadmaker or an electric mixer with hook attachment for kneading.

TIP: These sandwich breads have to be baked with their tops brushed with egg wash so that the breads will not shrink after cooling and you will be amazed that the well-baked crusts are deliciously soft.

Makes two 10 x 10 x 20 cm loaves, 450g each
You can use half of the recipe to make one loaf of bread.
300g water, lukewarm at 37°C
200g unsweetened steamed-cooked apple purée or applesauce
50g honey
650g bread flour with 12% protein
40g milk powder - please do not replace this and water with milk
4g salt
60g unsalted butter, soften at room temperature
2 tsp dried yeast

For egg wash:
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp milk

vegetable oil or vegetable oil spray to grease loaf pans
extra flour for dusting and shaping but please use the minimal amount

Place all the ingredients in a breadmaker according to the order of the above list. Use the dough setting to knead the dough until it is smooth* and elastic and allow the dough to prove for 1 hr or until doubled in size.

If you are using an electric mixer with an hook attachment to knead, combine all ingredients except butter in the mixing bowl and mix at low speed until a soft dough forms. Knead in the butter until incorporated. Continue to knead at low speed for at least 25 mins or until the dough is smooth* and elastic. It is important that the dough has to be elastic and stretchy. Cover the dough and allow the dough to prove in a warm and humid place for about 60 mins or until doubled in size.

* Please note that the surface of the dough will not be silky smooth like most soft bread dough. It can be a little spongy on its surface.

Grease loaf pans with oil or cooking oil spray.

To shape, divide dough into 6 portions (about 215g each) and shape all into smooth balls. Allow them to rest at room temperature for about 10 mins.

Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll each portion into long and flat oval shape (about 20 cm) on a lightly floured non-stick surface. Use your fingers to pick one shorter side of the dough and tuck and roll the dough like a Swiss roll. Use the rolling pin to flatten and roll the dough into a long rod shape. Then, pick one shorter side of the dough and roll it like a Swiss roll again. Repeat this rolling step with the remaining portions of dough.

Place three of the shaped dough with their seams side down into the each prepared pan. Press the top of the dough lightly to form an even surface. Allow the loaves to prove for another 1 hr or until the dough is going to reach the maximum height of the loaf pans.

Preheat oven at 180°C. For the egg wash, combine egg yolk and milk. Brush bread dough with egg wash and bake at 180°C for 25 mins or until thoroughly baked. If your breads are becoming brown too quickly, cover the breads very loosely with aluminium foil at the last 10 mins of bake and continue to bake until thoroughly baked.

When the bread is removed from the oven, unmould the bread immediately. Transfer bread on a wire rack to cool it completely.

Slice and serve.

WARNING: Breads are very soft and fragile to slice. It needs to be completely cooled before slicing and please use a serrated knife to slice.

Happy Baking
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You will never know until you try...

I never know that the addition of sweet potato can make onde onde taste so perfect!!!

In fact, these naturally-orange-coloured onde onde taste so much nicer than the traditional pandan ones that I have made at here! With the added sweet potato mash, they are chewy and also tender. Plus, the dough is so much easier to handle, making the onde onde a lot more easy to wrap and cook than usual.

You know what? After cooking these healthier rich-in-fiber yummier onde onde, I would rather use this recipe than the traditional one that uses tapioca flour and glutinous rice flour.

Sweet Potato Onde Onde
These are way BETTER than the ones that are made with tapioca flour and glutinous rice flour.

I will show you that these sweet potato onde onde is very easy to make.

In my video, you will see that I don't need to work quickly to avoid the dough from losing its moisture. And I don't have to cook each wrapped dough immediately in a pot of boiling water. It is ok for the wrapped dough to sit and wait for about 10-15 mins while using the rest of the dough for wrapping. Amazingly, these sweet potato onde onde will remain nicely shaped, round, intact and moist even after siting on the kitchen bench within the next 15 minutes.

Sweet Potato Onde Onde - YouTube

These onde onde will stay nice and round...
Chewy and tender for the rest of the day!

Honestly, I would HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY RECOMMEND this onde onde recipe and will try to use this concept to improve the traditional pandan onde onde recipe at here. So stay tune if you are interested.

A busy full-time hardworking mum like me needs your support to keep my blog going! So if you like my recipes, please LIKE, SHARE and FOLLOW me at either my Facebook at here or here or my Instagram @zoebakeforhappykids ... because every LIKE, SHARE and FOLLOW from you will motivate me to share more of my recipes in the future!

Thank you!!! ^-^

Here's the recipe that is adapted from Meatmen

Make 15

To hydrate the desiccated coconut:
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp (10 ml) water
40g desiccated coconut
Dissolve salt in water, then sprinkle the salt water onto the desiccated coconut. Mix well.

To hydrate:
1) steam with medium heat with occasional stirring for about 10 mins or until it is moist and fluffy.

Or 2) cover with cling wrap and microwave with low power for 20-30 secs, then stir. Repeat this cover, microwave and stirring step 3-4 times or until the coconut is moist and fluffy. Cover with cling wrap and allow to coconut to sit and cool down completely before using it.

Note: Instead of using the desiccated coconut, you can use 40g freshly grated one and omit the hydration step.

For the onde onde:
160g freshly steamed and warm sweet potato mash
50g glutinous rice flour, plus more to adjust the texture of the dough
about 70-80g finely shaved gula melaka to fill onde onde

Combine the warm sweet potato mash and glutinous rice flour to create a pliable non-sticky dough. Add extra glutinous rice flour bit by bit (teaspoonful, about 2-3 tsp in total) to adjust the texture of the dough accordingly if necessary.

Divide dough into 15 portions, about 15g per portion. Flatten dough and wrap adequate gula Melaka in all portions.

IMPORTANT: Do not flatten dough excessively. The thin dough will cause the onde onde to crack easily and the sugar filling will ooze out during cooking.

Cook the wrap dough in a pot of medium boiling water for about 5-10 mins or until they float on the boiling for at least 5 mins.

Coat well with the hydrated coconut immediately. Set aside to cool completely.

Serve and consume all within the same day.

Enjoy!
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The long-awaited Easter long weekend is finally gone.

The days are becoming shorter as the colder nights creep in.

As the leaves keep falling...

Although I miss those sizzling hot summery days, it is kind of strange that I'm feeling good with the arriving winter chills. Perhaps Melbourne summer had been warm enough and adequately extended this year and I'm all ready now to embrace the cold with lots of comfort baking.

To kick start my Autumn baking, I have created and baked these extremely SOFT APPLE sandwich breads that are maximally loaded with apples...

Extremely Soft and Moist Apple Honey Sandwich Bread
... because it is maximally loaded with apple!!!

I'm impressed!

These very-apple-loaded sandwich breads including their crusts are EXTREMELY soft!

I remember! Slicing these soft and tender breads is exactly like handling the Extremely Soft and Fragile Milk Sandwich Breads at here! It can be challenging and frustrating!!!

However, unlike the the Extremely Soft and Fragile Milk Sandwich Breads at here, this bread dough is actually easy and not-so-sticky to handle.

I have anything to complain about these soft applicious breads but the only critical thing that the fussy me would pointed out is that the crusts are so soft that the breads will shrink and collapse a little after cooling. Blame me! All because the ambitious me have loaded these breads with the maximum amount of apple purée! LOL!

These extremely soft breads are so soft that they will shrink and collapse a little after cooling!!!
Another soft sandwich breads that are difficult to slice! ... but that's ok for me!
... because these breads are not just soft or super soft. They are EXTREMELY SOFT!!!
They are also DELICIOUSLY SOFT with nice apple and honey fragrance!
Watch my video and be impress with the softness of these very apple breads!

Extremely Soft Apple Honey Sandwich Bread - YouTube

Due to the softness of these breads, the foodie-side of me would say that I would HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY RECOMMEND this recipe but the perfectionist-side of me would say that these extremely breads need to shrink less! Hmmm...

If you are after super soft apple honey sandwich breads that won't shrink, please stay tune because I will share another recipe soon!
Another recipe? You might ask... Why this recipe if there is another recipe that makes super soft non-shrinking apple honey sandwich breads? Well, you see... This recipe is maximally loaded with apple (360g for two loaves) and has less bread flour or gluten. So this is why the bread dough has enough body and volume to rise up to its maximum height but doesn't have enough gluten strength to hold its spongy air pockets after cooling.

Unlike this recipe, the other recipe contains more bread flour and less apple (only 200g for two loaves - 55% of the maximal amount) so that the apple-loaded breads are well-balanced enough to hold their spongy structure well after cooling. This more-apple recipe or the other less-apple non-shrinking recipe? Which one to bake? I will share both recipes but you have to decide! LOL!

Like my recipes? I will share MORE recipes in the future!

However, I'm a busy working mum that needs your support to keep my blog going... Hence, it will be nice if you can LIKE, SHARE and FOLLOW me my Facebook at here or here or my Instagram @zoebakeforhappykids because every LIKE, SHARE and FOLLOW from you will motivate me! Thank you!!!

Here's the recipe.

WARNING: This bread dough is fully loaded with many moist ingredients and can be sticky and difficult to knead initially. It will be good if you can a breadmaker or an electric mixer with hook attachment for kneading.

TIP: Baking these breads in Pullman loaf pans with lids make their outer crust softer than the ones baked without cover lids. On the other hand, the breads that are baked without the lids will shrink lesser but a little less softer (still super soft!) because the more-baked crusts make the breads slightly firmer. What to do? Should you bake with lids or not? You decide!

Makes two 10 x 10 x 20 cm loaves, 450g each
You can use half of the recipe to make one loaf of bread.
120g water, lukewarm at 37°C
360g unsweetened steamed-cooked apple purée or applesauce
50g honey
600g extra strong bread flour with 14% protein*
40g milk powder - please do not replace this and water with milk
4g salt
60g unsalted butter, soften at room temperature
2 tsp dried yeast

*IMPORTANT: These breads are VERY soft and fragile that they will shrink and collapse a little after cooling. Hence, if you are using bread flour with lesser than 14% protein, your breads with less gluten strength will collapse even more. If extra strong bread flour with 14% protein is not available, please use 585g bread flour with 12% protein plus 15g gluten flour.

vegetable oil or vegetable oil spray to grease loaf pans and their lids
extra flour for dusting and shaping but please use the minimal amount

Place all the ingredients in a breadmaker according to the order of the above list. Use the dough setting to knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic and allow the dough to prove for 1 hr or until doubled in size.

If you are using an electric mixer with an hook attachment to knead, combine all ingredients except butter in the mixing bowl and mix at low speed until a soft dough forms. Knead in the butter until incorporated. Continue to knead at low speed for at least 25 mins or until the dough is smooth and elastic. It is important that the dough has to be elastic and stretchy. Cover the dough and allow the dough to prove in a warm and humid place for about 60 mins or until doubled in size.

Grease loaf pans and their lids with oil or cooking oil spray.

To shape, divide dough into 6 portions (about 205g each) and shape all into smooth balls. Allow them to rest at room temperature for about 10 mins.

Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll each portion into long and flat oval shape (about 20 cm) on a lightly floured non-stick surface. Use your fingers to pick one shorter side of the dough and tuck and roll the dough like a Swiss roll. Use the rolling pin to flatten and roll the dough into a long rod shape. Then, pick one shorter side of the dough and roll it like a Swiss roll again. Repeat this rolling step with the remaining portions of dough.

Place three of the shaped dough with their seams side down into the each prepared pan. Press the top of the dough lightly to form an even surface. Allow the loaves to prove for another 1 hr or until the dough is going to reach the maximum height of the loaf pans. Cover loaf pans with their lids.

Preheat oven at 180°C. Bake at 180°C for 25 mins or until thoroughly baked. If your breads are not covered with the loaf pan lids and the top of the breads are becoming brown too quickly, cover the breads very loosely with aluminium foil at the last 10 mins of bake and continue to bake until thoroughly baked.

When the bread is removed from the oven, remove the lids and unmould the bread immediately. Transfer bread on a wire rack to cool it completely.

Slice and serve.

WARNING: Breads are very soft and fragile to slice. It needs to be completely cooled before slicing and please use a serrated knife to slice.

Happy Baking
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Are you looking for the BEST chocolate brownies recipe?

Yes and I have already found one at here! It is the BEST brownies recipe because it is fully loaded with chocolate!!! Not butter and sugar!!!

Then, I found that the Chocolate Cranberry Brownies at here is also fully loaded with chocolate and very similar to the BEST Chocolate Brownies at here.

However, I'm constantly inquisitive! I asked myself... Is 280g chocolate the maximum amount of chocolate I can load in one 20 cm square brownies?

With this question constantly in my mind, I came across a brownies recipe from the book, Great coffee cakes, sticky buns, muffins and more by Carole Walter. Although the original recipe by Carole Walter doesn't contain more than 280g chocolate in one 20 cm square brownies, I see that I can change the recipe to fit in at least 360g chocolate in one 20 cm square brownies!!!

And I called this brownies the ULTIMATE Chocolate-loaded Super-chocolaty Chocolate Brownies!!! ... that is also known as THE ULTIMATE Chocoholic Chocolate Brownies!!! LOL!!!

Image. This 20 cm square brownies is loaded with 360g dark chocolate with 70% cocoa!!! Real ultimate and unbeatable, huh?


Proudly introducing... my Ultimate Chocolaty Chocolate Brownies!!!
Nothing can't any more chocolate than these!!!

How did I load this maximum amount of chocolate into the brownies?

In order to gel this massive amount of chocolate together, I will need incorporate more flour and butter!!!

Although this chocolate-loaded brownies is super chocolaty and rich, it is not sweet and not made with the highest amount of sugar and butter added.

To illustrate further, I have summarized my brownies baking experience and you will see  that many rich brownies recipes are actually loaded with sugar, not chocolate!

THIS ULTIMATE brownies recipe contains 360g dark chocolate, 150g unsalted butter, 150g dark brown sugar and 115g flour - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

The BEST brownies recipe at here contains 270g dark chocolate, 75g unsalted butter, 130g sugar (50:50 caster:brown) and 55g flour - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

The Chocolate Cranberry Brownies recipe at here contains 280g dark chocolate, 75g unsalted butter, 150g sugar (1:3 caster:dark brown) and 45g flour - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Very Fudgy Brownies at here contains 180g dark chocolate, 120g unsalted butter, 220g sugar (175g caster + 45g brown) and 75g flour - Delicious with high sugar content!

Extreme Brownies at here contains 200g dark chocolate, 225g unsalted butter, 400g caster sugar and 100g flour - Delicious with extremely high butter and sugar content!

Seriously Rich Brownies at here contains 240g chocolate, 100g butter, 180g sugar (60g caster + 120g brown) and 100g flour - Delicious with high sugar content!

Gluten Free Brownies at here contains 240g dark chocolate, 90g unsalted butter, 150g caster sugar and 30g cornflour - A really good gluten-free recipe! 

Nigella Everyday Brownies at here contains 110g chocolate, 100g unsalted butter, 200g brown sugar and 100g flour - The recipe with the least amount of chocolate and high sugar content!

See the differences? I hope that you will be as chocolate-enlightened as me ^-^

If you are adventurous and don't mind baking a brownies with NO chocolate, you can try baking the BEST Sticky Chewy Gooey Cocoa Brownies at here. It is amazingly chocolaty and YUMMY!!!
This recipe can incorporate 360g chocolate into a 20 cm square brownies!
The edge of the brownies is rather cakey!
Its middle part is fudgy!
It's chocolaty, bittersweet, cakey and fudgy!
This is the ULTIMATE chocolate-loaded chocolate brownies that has the best of many worlds!!!

My son loves loves loves these super chocolaty brownies but I was feeling bad that my son was eating so many of these brownies. I had to give some of these brownies to my husband's colleagues and my son was angry with me subsequently. Hmmm...

We all know that baking brownies is so easy. And the most important thing is not to over-mix or over-bake the brownies! However, if you are not sure, you can watch my video to see how I baked these brownies.


Ultimate Chocolate-loaded Chocolate Brownies - YouTube
Music: Bensound

I hope that you will like this recipe and bake this brownies for this coming Easter.

If you like my blog and recipes, it will be nice if you can LIKE, SHARE and FOLLOW me at either my Facebook at here or here or my Instagram @zoebakeforhappykids ... because every of your LIKE, SHARE and FOLLOW will motivate me to bake and share more. Thank you thank you for your support!

Here's the recipe.

Makes one 20 cm square brownies
150g unsalted butter
180g dark chocolate with 70% cocoa - I'm using Callebaut dark chocolate callets with 70% cocoa.
150g (3/4 cup) dark brown sugar*
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla paste or extract
115g plain /all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
180g dark chocolate chips - I'm using Callebaut dark chocolate callets with 70% cocoa.

*This reduced amount of sugar will make this brownies rather bittersweet. If you prefer the brownies to be sweeter, you can increase the amount to 200g.

Preheat oven at 160°C / 325°F. Line one 20 cm / 8 inches square with baking paper with 5 cm of excess baking paper overhang the edge of the pan.

Place butter and 180g chocolate in a large heatproof bowl. Melt and stir chocolate mixture by using a microwave, pulsing with low power or placing the heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Stop heating immediately when the chocolate are just melted as over-heating can cause the chocolate and butter to separate. Mixture should be thick, smooth and shiny. Set aside to cool slightly.

Use a spatula to mix in sugar, eggs and vanilla and it's ok if the mixture is a little grainy with small amount of undissolved sugar. Add chocolate mixture and mix until combined.

Sift flour, salt and baking powder into the mixture and mix gently until just combined. Do not over-mix. Gently fold in 180g dark chocolate chips - no chocolate chunks, please!

Scrape batter into the prepared pan. Use a spatula to smoothed the top and tap the pan gently for the batter to spread out evenly.

Bake at 160°C for 25 mins or until the top is set but still soft in the center. Do not over-bake brownies! Allow brownies to cool in the pan for about 15 mins or more if you are living in a warm place or until it is firm enough to remove. Do not chill the brownies in a fridge!!!

Slice and serve.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 day and in a freezer for up to one month.

Happy Baking
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Guess what?

This BEST cocoa brownies has defy the rules of being the best brownies!

It contains NO chocolate at all!
It has to contain quite a substantial amount of sugar!
... but it is incredibly chocolaty!!! And amazingly not sweet!

In fact, it is irresistibly nice because of its sticky chewy and gooey texture... Heavenly!!!

It is true!!!
This is the BEST Cocoa Brownies!!!
It is sticky, chewy and gooey! So yummy!!!

I'm totally amazed with this no-chocolate brownies Epicurious recipe!

If you are a chocoholic, you might know that the French Valrhona cocoa and chocolate is considered as the Rolls Royce version of chocolate. Ooh la la! In order to compensate the absence of chocolate, I'm using the premium Valrhona cocoa powder to bake my brownies... making this fully-finest-cocoa-loaded brownies super duper awesome!!!

Want to bake to bake this yummy brownies? It's really easy to bake it! Just stick to the recipe and you won't go wrong!!! Or you might want to want my video to see how I baked mine.


Best Sticky Chewy Gooey Cocoa Brownies - YouTube

After taking this photo, I asked myself... Why is this brownies so ugly? LOL!
Simply because its SOFT, MOIST and GOOEY brownies body can't make it stay well in shape!
And its thin sugar top crust will crack when they are removed from the pan!

Ok... I can't deny that this ugly brownies is delicious! Maybe the best thing to do is to close your eyes and slowly savor this soft gooey chocolaty brownies? LOL!

So why not try baking this recipe? For this coming Easter? And share this yummy fat and sugar with your family friends! LOL!

I hope that you will like this and other recipes that I shared. If you do, please LIKE, SHARE and FOLLOW me at either my Facebook at here or here or my Instagram @zoebakeforhappykids ... because every LIKE, SHARE and FOLLOW from you will motivate a busy working mum like me to bake and share more! Thank you thank you for your support!

Here's the recipe that is adapted from Epicurious

Make one 20 cm (8-inches) square
150g unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
250g (1 1/4 cups) caster sugar
80g cocoa powder, preferably Dutch-process, sifted
1/2 tsp vanilla paste or extract
2 cold large eggs
75g (1/2 cup) plain / all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
Place a baking rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 160°C / 325°F.

Line one 20 cm / 8 inches square with baking paper with 5 cm of excess baking paper overhang the edge of the pan.

Place melted butter, sugar and sifted cocoa powder in a large heatproof bowl. Use a spatula or wooden spoon to mix until combined.

Add vanilla and eggs. Then, use the same spatula or wooden spoon to beat mixture vigorously for at least 40 strokes or until mixture looks thick and shiny,.

Sift flour and salt into the cocoa mixture and mix until mixture is just combined.

Transfer and spread mixture evenly in the prepared pan. Bake for 30-35 mins* or until the or until the top is set and a skewer inserted in the middle come out with a light smear of moist batter. Do not over-bake brownies. Allow brownies to cool in the pan for about 15 mins or more if you are living in a warm place or until it is firm enough to remove. Do not chill the brownies in a fridge!!!

*Although the original recipe suggests the baking time to be 25 mins, I have to bake mine for 35 mins until its top is set!

Slice and serve.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 day.

Happy Baking
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Nestum cookies again?

YES! I'm baking Nestum cookies again because my son and I love love love anything that is made with Nestum cereal!!!

Having said that, I have noticed lately that some bakers misunderstood something about Nestum cereal and I would like take this opportunity to clarify these false beliefs...

1) Nestum cereal is NOT oats! And it is NOT made with oats or any wholegrain!

It is a processed cereal product that is made with wholemeal flour plus other flour such rice, corn and barley.

2) Nestum cereal drink is a processed food but it is fortified with essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, iron and calcium.

3) Nestum cereal is not sugar-free!!! It contains 13g (about 1 1/2 tbsp) sugar in every 100g. Hence, it can be consumed as a dietary supplement but also should be consumed moderately.

For those who don't know or curious to know the introduction about Nestum cereal, you might wish to read my previous Nestum cereal cookies blog post at here.

Based on what I just said, I wouldn't say that Nestum cereal is a health food! The only reason that I love to bake with this cereal product is purely because it is delicious!

Here, I'm showing you how to use Nestum cereal to bake these Thin, Light and Crispy Nestum Butter Cookies. And these cookies are yummy!!!

These Thin and Crispy Nestum Cereal Butter Cookies are my son's favourite!!!

"Mum, can you bake these Nestum cereal cookies for me again? They are the best!" asked my son.

"What makes you think that these cookies are the best?" I asked my son.

"... because they are so thin and crispy!" His reply was so firm and instant!

Actually, I already knew why my son likes these cookies and just want to confirm if I was totally right.

In order to make these cereal cookies so thin, light and crispy, the cookies have to contain a significant amount of sugar!!! As a matter of fact, each of these cookies contains 5g sugar and I won't deny that they are sweet and way taste sweeter than my other Nestum cereal cookies that I have baked at here, here and here!!!

Nevertheless, I would still highly highly highly recommend this recipe! Simply because my son said that these thin and crispy cookies are yummy! ^-^

I would highly recommend these thin and crispy cereal cookies
... because my son said that they are the best!
"I don't like these cookies!" said my fussy husband as he reckon that these cookies are too sweet for him.

If you prefer your crispy cereal cookies to contain less sugar and taste less sweet, please please please do not reduce the amount of sugar added in this recipe!!!

Instead, I would strongly suggest that you should try my other cereal cookies recipes:

EXTRA Crispy Maximally-Loaded Nestum Cereal Cookies at HERE
This almost-similar recipe contains the same amount of Nestum cereal but lesser sugar, butter and flour. Thus, this is why the cookies are so maximally packed with Nestum cereals!

BUTTERY Eggless Crispy Nestum Cereal Cookies at HERE
These melty cookies are buttery and fragrant! And way less sweet than these cookies!!!

FIRM Crispy Nestum Cookies at HERE
I would recommend these cookies mainly because they are easiest to handle, stack and give or sell. Frankly speaking, the other cookies are actually more delicious.

I know. You might ask....Where can you buy Nestum? Before I say anything, I would like to clarify here that I'm not paid by Nestum and I'm not promoting Nestum products.

If you are living in Singapore and Malaysia, you might wish to know that Nestum cereal is commonly available in most major supermarkets and baking supply shops.

If you are living in non-Asian countries such as US, Europe and Australia, you might need to purchase Nestum cereal via online and Amazon.

If you are living in Melbourne, the lucky you can buy Nestum cereal in many Asian grocery shops at Melbourne city, Boxhill and Preston.

My kitchen is smelling so good again!
... when I was baking these cookies :)
These thin and crispy cereal cookies don't just smell good.
They taste yummy too :)

The good thing about this recipe is I don't have to pre-toast the Nestum cereal before adding it into the cookies. The cookies are so thin that the cereal can be nicely toasted with the cookies dough during the baking process.

Watch my video and you will see that these cookies are very fuss-free to bake.


Light Thin and Crispy Nestum Cereal Butter Cookies - YouTube

I hope that you will like the recipes that I recommended. If you do, can I ask you to LIKE, SHARE and FOLLOW me at either my Facebook at here or here or my Instagram @zoebakeforhappykids? ... because every LIKE, SHARE and FOLLOW from you will motivate a busy working mum like me to bake and share more! Thank you thank you for your support!

Here's the recipe that is adapted from my Instagram friend, Cass.xu.
I have changed the addition of 1 whole egg to 2 egg yolks and 20g extra butter in order to give these cookies lots of extra crisp! Trust me!!! It works perfectly!!!

Makes about 18 medium cookies

For the cookie dough:
120g unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
80g caster sugar - please do not reduce this! This amount is required to make the cookies crispy!!!
1/2 tsp vanilla paste or extract
30g egg yolks, at room tempearture about 2 but please use the exact weight
60g self-raising flour - please do not substitute this with plain flour plus baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
100g Nestum cereal (contains 13g sugar in every 100g)

Preheat the oven to 160°C / 320°F.

Line baking trays with baking papers.

Using a wooden spoon or an electric mixer with paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar for 1-2 mins or until combined and fluffy - Do not over-beat mixture! Add vanilla and egg yolks. Beat well until just combined.

Sift flour and salt into the butter mixture. Use a spoon or spatula to mix until mixture is combined. Add Nestum cereal and mix until mixture is combined. Mixture should be wet enough to incorporate this amount of cereal added.

Scoop and arrange tablespoonful of dough onto the lined trays with about 3-4 cm apart. Please be aware that cookies will spread during baking. Use the back of a metal spoon to flatten the cookie dough slightly to about 1 cm thick.

Bake for 20-25 mins, swapping the trays around halfway through baking or until thoroughly baked with golden brown colour at the edges. Baking duration may vary slightly due to the size of the cookies. Allow cookies to cool slightly on the tray for about 10-15 mins, then transfer to racks to cool completely.

Serve and enjoy. Store any uneaten cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up 2 weeks

Happy Baking
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Tis the season of chocolate and hot cross buns!

Hence, I've baked these Brioche Style Chocolate Chip Hot Cross Buns for ME and my family...

And these freshly baked homemade goodies are so moist, buttery, chocolaty and yummy!!!

My Brioche Style Chocolate Chip Hot Cross Buns
... are soft, buttery, chocolaty and yummy!!!
Happy!!! ^-^
My kitchen was smelling so good when I baked these hot cross buns.
Happier!!! ^-^
These freshly baked hot cross buns are so yummy!
Happiest!!! ^-^
 ... when my son told me that he likes these chocolate chips hot cross buns.

"Mum, can you bake chocolate chips hot cross buns? With no raisin, pleaseeeeeee?" asked my son.

"Ok" I said ok because I always cook and bake the food accordingly to my son's request.

I wanted to bake the brioche version of hot cross buns for my son and had incorporated a sensible amount of butter into these yummy chocolaty golden buns. Watch my video to see how I baked them.

Soft Brioche Style Chocolate Chip Hot Cross Buns - YouTube

My baking tips:
From the video, you can see that I prefer to add chocolate chips at the last 3-5 mins of kneading so that bread dough will be lightly flavoured with chocolate flavour from the chocolate chips incorporated. If you prefer your bread dough to be purely golden like brioche bread, you can knead in the chocolate chips gently by hand during the shaping step after the first proving.

If you prefer your hot cross buns to be made with raisins or sultana, you can substitute 100g (1/2 cup) chocolate chips with 80g (1/2 cup) raisins or sultana.

My baking notes:
Due to the substantial amount of added butter into these hot cross buns, please note that...

1) This bread dough is actually very easy to handle! So easy that I don't even need any extra bread flour for dusting and shaping.

2) These brioche-style hot cross buns are moist and soft ONLY on the day when they are freshly baked. Sadly, these buttery breads will shrink and become less fluffy on the next day.

3) Interestingly, these buttery buns can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days! If you want them to be as soft and moist like on the day when it is freshly baked, you can heat the leftover buns slightly in a microwave with high power for 10-20 secs. Trust me! It works!!!

4) the milk powder and water should not be substituted with milk!!! I have tested and witnessed at here that the enzymes in milk can break down gluten and prevent the bread dough from rising. Therefore, some bread recipes prefer to use scalded milk because scalding milk deactivates these enzymes or some bread recipes like THIS one prefer the use of milk powder.

5) If you prefer hot cross buns that are super soft and can stay soft on the next day of bake, please try my other recipes at:
Fluffy Soft Super Moist Hot Cross Buns at here
Super Soft and Moist Chocolate Hot Cross Buns at here

6) If you prefer hot cross buns that are fluffier and stay soft even on the day after next (the 3rd day of bake), please stay tune! I will share another recipe soon!

If you like my recipes, please LIKE, SHARE and FOLLOW me at either my Facebook at here or here or my Instagram @zoebakeforhappykids because every LIKE, SHARE and FOLLOW from you will motivate me to bake and share more! Thank you thank you for your support!

Here's the recipe.


Makes 9 buns in one 20 cm (8 inches) square pan

180g water, lukewarm at about 30°C / 85°F
30g egg yolks, at room temperature (from 2 eggs but please use exact weight)
300g bread flour with 12% protein
30g milk powder
20g caster sugar
2g salt
50g unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
4g (1 tsp) instant yeast
100g (1/2 cup) chocolate chips - I used Callebaut dark chocolate callets with 54% cocoa

For the egg wash:
1 egg yolk
1 tsp milk

For the cross:
20g self-raising flour
20g cold water

extra butter or vegetable oil spray to grease baking pan
The bread dough is so easy to handle that NO extra bread flour is required for dusting and shaping!

For the bread dough:
If you are using a breadmaker to knead and prove the dough, add all ingredients except raisins or sultanas into the breadmaker according to this order. Use "dough" setting to mix and knead dough for 30 mins or until the dough is elastic and stretchy. At the last 3-5 mins of kneading (or when some breadmakers beep), add chocolate chips and continue to knead until the chocolate chips are well incorporated - please read my above baking tips. Allow the dough prove for 1 hr or until doubled in size.

If you are using an electric mixer with an hook attachment to knead, combine all ingredients except butter and chocolate chips in the mixing bowl and mix at low speed until a soft dough forms. Then, knead in the butter until incorporated. Continue to knead at low speed for at least 25 mins or until the dough is elastic. It is important that the dough has to be elastic and stretchy. Add chocolate chips and continue to knead until the chocolate chips are well incorporated - please read my above baking tips. Cover the dough and allow the dough to prove in a warm and humid place for about 1 hr or until doubled in size.

Grease square pan with butter or vegetable oil spray. Using your lightly floured hands, divide dough into 9 equal portions (about 80g each) on well-floured surfaces. Pull, stretch and shape all portions into smooth balls. Arrange the dough in the greased pan. Allow the bread to rise in a warm and humid place for another 1 hr or until doubled in size.

Preheat the oven 350°F or 180°C.

For the egg wash, combine egg yolk and milk. Brush bread dough with egg wash.

For the cross, mix water and flour until it forms a smooth and thick paste. Transfer into a piping bag if required and snip off the end to make a fine hole.

Pipe a cross on top of each bread bun and bake for 17-20 mins or until golden brown and thoroughly baked inside. Due to the high moisture content of these buns, it is important to bake the buns for at least 17 mins or until thoroughly baked but do not over-bake them as these buttery buns tend to dry up very easily. Remove from the oven and transfer onto a wire rack to cool slightly to warm.

Serve warm or at room temperature or toasted, with or without butter.

Store any leftover in an airtight container at room temperature for the next 3 days. However, please consume these buns within the day of bake because these soft buns will become less fluffy on the next day! To regain its softness, slightly heat the leftover buns using a microwave with high power for 10-20 secs and they will become soft and moist just like they were freshly baked!!! - please read my above baking notes.

Happy Baking
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Can't believe that it's about a month to Easter now and this means that it's time for us to eat more chocolate! LOL!!!

Mid-march in Melbourne is my most favourite time of the year because the days are mild or slightly warm and the nights are just nice being moderately cool and not too cold.

To me, March is the best month of the year to enjoy chocolate. Chocolate in the form of anything! This is why I've made this sticky chewy brownies gelato for our after-dinner dessert.

"Mmm... I love this sticky chewy brownies ice cream." said my son.

My son has been telling me that he loves this ice cream whenever I gave him a serve of this ice cream.

Well actually, this ice cream is not exactly an ice cream. The ice cream base is actually a gelato that is made with chocolate and milk... no cream and no egg. And it is definitely way less sinfully than the chocolate brownies ice cream that I have made at here. Yet, it is chocolatey enough! And its sticky chewy fudgy texture is awesomely nice to indulge.


Chocolate Brownies Gelato
Sticky. Chewy. Fudgy. and Awesomely Nice!
First, I baked, chopped and freeze the brownies.

Then, I made the no-cream chocolate gelato base and churn the gelato with the brownies. Watch my video.

Sticky Chewy Superfudge Chocolate Brownies Gelato - YouTube

And we were enjoying this!!! YUM!!!
Why is this gelato base less sinfully? For your info, the sugar content of this gelato base is only 16% which is the minimal amount required. The fat content can't be the minimal because I have to incorporate a good amount of chocolate into this dessert but it has to be lesser than 10% because any chocolate gelato that are made with more than 10% fat tends to be dense and rock-hard to scoop!

So there you go...

A good gelato base should have:
16-22% sugar
6-12% fat
32-42% solid
58-68% liquid

This chocolate gelato base has:
16% sugar, the minimal
10% fat so that the gelato contains a good amount of chocolate and not too dense to scoop
36% solid - within range
63% liquid - within range

"I like this but I still want something that is smooth and all chocolate." said my husband. If you are looking for a smooth dark chocolate gelato recipe that is made with NO cream and minimal sugar, you might want to try our favourite recipe at here.

Like my recipes? It will be nice if you can LIKE, SHARE and FOLLOW me at either my Facebook at here or here or my Instagram @zoebakeforhappykids because every LIKE, SHARE and FOLLOW will motivate a busy working mum like me to share more of my prized recipes in the near future. Thank you thank you for your support!!!

Here's the recipe.
For the best consistent result, it will be good to measure all ingredients by weight, not measuring cups. DO NOT reduce and change any of these amounts!

Makes about 1L /1 quart

For the brownies:
Makes one 10 x 20 cm
30g dark chocolate with 70% cocoa
25g unsalted butter, soften at room temperature
20g caster sugar
25g dark brown sugar
1 large egg at room temperature
1/4 tsp vanilla paste or extract
30g all purpose / plain flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

To bake the brownies:
Preheat oven to 160°C / 320°F. Line 10 x 20 cm loaf pan with baking paper.

Place 30g chocolate and butter in a heat-proof bowl. Use a microwave with low power or a double boiler to melt the chocolate and butter mixture. Allow chocolate mixture to cool slightly for about 10 mins without having the mixture turning back to solid again.

Place both sugars, egg and vanilla in a mixing bowl and use a spatula to mix until the sugar has dissolved. Add chocolate mixture and mix well until combined.

Sift flour, baking powder and salt into the chocolate mixture and mix until just combined. DO NOT OVER-MIX! Transfer batter into the prepared pan and tap the filled pan slightly until the batter is evenly spread. 

Bake for 14-15 mins or until the top is firm. Do not over-bake brownies and it's ok if it is a little soft in the middle. Allow brownies to cool slightly in the pan for 5-10 mins, then transfer onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Chop brownies into fine crumbs and it is ok to have some coarse bits. Place brownies in a container. Cover and freeze for at least 3 hr or more.

For the gelato:
120g dark chocolate with 70% cocoa - I used Callebaut callet.
500g regular milk with 4% fat, cold
45g unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted - Mine is Dutch processed.
90g caster sugar
1g guar gum, optional but good to have so that your gelato has a nice thick creamy texture
1 tsp vanilla paste or 1 tbsp vanilla extract
170g finely chopped brownies, see above

Place chocolate in a large heatproof bowl. Melt and stir chocolate mixture by using a microwave, pulsing with low power or placing the heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Stop heating immediately when the chocolate are just melted as overheating can cause the chocolate to burn and change its texture. Mixture should be thick and smooth.

Weigh out the exact amount of milk. Transfer about 1 cup (250g) of milk and heat with low heat until lukewarm. DO NOT OVERHEAT or BOIL the milk.

Add the lukewarm milk into the melted chocolate and mix until well-combined. If the chocolate and milk are still separated, heat mixture slightly by using a microwave, pulsing with low power or placing the heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Heat and stir until both chocolate and milk are well-incorporated. DO NOT OVERHEAT or BOIL the mixture.

Combine cocoa powder, sugar and guar gum (optional). Add tablespoonful of cocoa powder mixture into the milk-chocolate mixture and stir well after each addition. Keep adding and mixing until all of the ingredients are completely added and incorporated.

Pour the milk-chocolate mixture through a sieve. Then, stir in the remaining 250g cold milk and vanilla.

Pour mixture into a container and chill it in a fridge for about 1-2 hrs or until completely chilled but do not leave mixture to chill overnight. This pre-chilling step is optional if you are using an ice-cream maker that has a chilling unit.

Transfer the mixture to a pre-chilled ice cream maker and freeze following the manufacturer's instructions. This gelato will take about 40-45 mins to churn if the mixture is not pre-chilled or 30 mins to churn if the mixture is pre-chilled. When the gelato is almost ready (about 2 mins before it is done), add 3/4 of the finely chopped brownies into the ice cream mixture and continue to churn and freeze until the gelato is ready.

Transfer gelato into an airtight container and top with the remaining chopped brownies. Allow gelato to set in the freezer for about 3-4 hrs before serving. Due to its high fat and liquid content, this gelato will be hard after freezing for more than 3 hrs. Allow gelato to thaw for a while at room temperature or microwave for low power for 10-30 sec before scooping and serving.

Freeze for up to 1 week in home freezer because this gelato hasn't been stabilised with eggs and might become icy after 1 week or more.

Enjoy this chewy sticky chocolatey ice cream! Yum...
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