Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Afternoon Tea with Lychee Panna Cotta

Last weekend my cousins and I enjoyed high tea together, each bought a homemade dish which I vouched for sweet over savoury. All week I couldn't decided what to bake and I had so much I wanted to make but it had to be done all on Friday night, straight after work from 7pm to 11pm. So I decided three quick easy to recipes, mars bar brownie, strawberry & cream cupcakes and lychee panna cotta. The panna cotta is so far the easiest and quickest thing I have ever made and I highly recommend it for lazy people who just want something yummy but don't want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen or use an oven.


Lychee Panna Cotta
Recipe from

What worked? This recipe was easy peasy and took me no more than 30mins to make however waiting time is around 2 hours setting time before putting the jelly top and an overnight in the refridge before serving.
What didn't? Being impatient, I tried to add the jelly after half an hour of setting the panna cotta but obviously the jelly mixed into the panna cotta, looking fugly.

1 can (14 oz) lychees in syrup
2 teaspoons powdered gelatin
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons sugar
1 packet of instant raspberry jelly (or any other flavoured jelly)
  1. Optional - Take out 6 lychee pieces and put each into a cup
  2. Using a food processor or blender, process the rest of the lychees including the syrup until the mixture is smooth. Strain into a measuring cup until you get 1 cup of liquid.
  3. Mix 3 tablespoons of cold water and gelatin in a small bowl then put aside. 
  4. In a medium heat and saucepan, combine the 1 cup of lychee liquid, cream, milk, and sugar. Stir until the sugar is dissolved and it just come to a boil.
  5. Remove lychee mixture from heat and add gelatin. Stir until the gelatin is fully melted and combined.
  6. Divide mixture among 6 glasses and refrigerate until set, at least 2 hours.
  7. Follow the instructions of the instant jelly packet and fill an inch of the jelly to the set panna cotta. 
  8. Keep in the fridge over night and garnish with fruits before serving.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Iterally Salted Butter Caramel Macarons

When it comes to baking, I get asked a lot about my macarons. I bake it so often, I've lost counted however I still feel I have not yet perfected the master of baking macarons by technique which is my goal before I venture out on wild flavours. So here is my basic macaron recipe for all to practice. Filled with my three favourite ingredients together.. sugar + butter + cream = CARAMEL. I found a fine salted caramel recipe online however since I can't find any 'Fleur de sel' (French) sea salt, I've opted the fully sick generic salted butter.

What worked?  I think the trick in making macarons is follow strictly to the recipe instructions (by the grams) and know your oven. If the oven seems hotter than normal reduce the temperature to 120 degrees, personally with my oven I slightly open the oven door for the first 2mins of baking (or else it starts to over heat and crack the shells). I also think letting the macaron sit for at least half an hour before baking is important, it helps develop the shinny top shell. Over all practice makes perfect.
What didn't? Not letting the caramel completely cool before adding the final butter which melted the butter and made the caramel runny.

Vanilla Macaron
110g almond meal
200g pure icing sugar
110 egg whites (left outside at room temperature for 24hours)
30g caster sugar
Pinch of cream of tartar
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
  1. Sift the almond meal and icing sugar as fine as possible (it would be easy if you had food processor). 
  2. Whisk egg whites until it reaches soft peak slowly incorporate the caster sugar and pinch of cream of tartar. Keep whisking until it becomes stiff peak.
  3. Add 1/3 of the egg white and vanilla into the dry mix (almond meal & icing sugar) bowl, this is your opportunity to vigorously combine the ingredients together.
  4. Add the remaining 2/3 of egg whites however only mix enough when it's well combine. 
  5. Line the baking try with paper and pipe the mixture into round 3cms (an inch) leaving 3cms space in between.
  6. Allow the macarons to sit for 30mins until the top layer dries out (in the meantime complete the caramel recipe)
  7. In a preheated oven of 140 degrees, bake for approx 10-15mins.

Salt Caramel Butter Cream
140ml thicken cream   
125g salted butter (room temperature)    
170g caster sugar
  1. Melt the sugar in a pan (without stirring) until it is brown.
  2. Then add and mix 65g of salted butter and double cream then set aside to cool.
  3. Whip the rest of the 60g salted butter until it is soft and then blend in to the cold caramel until it becomes a smooth creamy texture.
  4. Fill half the macarons with the caramel and then top with a second shell.

Oh and I like to thank Sbuchanan for the photography tips. Notice a difference in my pics?

Wednesday, 29 June 2011


It’s been over a year since my last post and my only real excuse is ‘I’ve been too busy’ that I have neglected this blog. Honestly quality blogging takes time and I don’t want to upload phone grade photos and post unedited random recipes with no comments which will not add value to my baking learning experience or to my readers.

However fear not, I haven’t stopped baking! Since last year I’ve made a macaroon tower, lemon curd cake, green tea chiffon cake, mini pavlovas, profiteroles, deep fried sesame balls, lemon meringue slice, assorted macaroons, Thai custard sticky rice (Kao Niao Sung Khaya) and just yesterday carrot cupcakes with cream cheese frosting.

What I will try to commit?
  • At least 1 post per fortnight
  • Practice photography skills
  • Keeping baking
*** Please watch this space ***