Friday, May 30, 2014

drypers drypantz - an excellent fit for our little one

It is always interesting for the LAM and I to observe and talk about our kids. It never fails to amaze us how different these two kids are.

While Aden has a milder disposition and is more wary of the unfamiliar, Jadelyn has no concept of fear and is a total spitfire.

It is still funny how we decided to send Aden to play group when he was 20 months old because we figured he needed to learn to socialise with other children as he was so shy. On the other hand, Jadelyn just started play group this month because we hope interaction with other kids will tone her down a little!!

Perhaps it is the second-child syndrome. I was the first-born and the LAM is the youngest of three, so neither of us has a real understanding of what it is like to be the second child. The one thing we do know, though, is that we need to get durable-everything for Jadelyn because, gosh, she is one active child.

This brings me to the topic I am discussing today - our choice of diapers.

Jadelyn was born a healthy 3.2kg. She was not very big for a baby (okay, seeing that her Daddy is almost 2 metres tall makes her quite a small baby, actually *thankfully for me*) but she more than made up for it by growing really fast. At 22 months, she is already as heavy as her brother. This, coupled with the fact that both our kids play pretty roughly together means that we need diapers that not only provide super absorption, keep Jadelyn dry and fit well, we also need diapers that make her feel comfortable.

This was where the new Drypers Drypantz came in.

For a while, before Jadelyn was able to walk, run and climb, we used another brand of diapers because, well that was what Aden used to use, and we simply bought the same for Jadelyn. I guess this was a classic case of parental laziness on our part - what fitted #1 should fit #2 as well so why change?

However, it was not long before I noticed that because Jadelyn's bottom is wider than Aden's, the previous brand of pants diaper did not fit her well. We had quite a few problems with leakages because the diapers became full too quickly. Finally, I decided things were not working out, and we had to try a different brand of diapers. After some experimentation, we found Drypers Drypantz suited Jadelyn the most.

And what an amazing change it was! For one, Drypers Drypantz fit Jadelyn's bottom much, much better. There was no longer this extra bulkiness around her butt, making it look bigger than it really was. And because it was a better fit and has better absorbency, we stopped having problems with leakages too.

Jadelyn also stopped having skin problems after we made the switch as well. I guess this is because the Activ-Core™, or absorbent core of the pants quickly absorbs urine and prevents flow-back. That means dryness for a longer time. In addition, Vitamin E, Chamomile, Aloe Vera and Olive extracts are also added to Drypers Drypantz and these ingredients are well-known to soothe the skin and aid in preventing rashes.

As Jadelyn is so active, we needed to be sure that her movements are not restricted because of her diapers and/or her clothes. This is another reason why I really like Dryper Drypantz. The diapers feel soft to the touch, and the garters are soft while able to stay on securely. The diapers stay in place no matter how long or rough Jadelyn plays.

There is every ounce of truth in Dryper's claim to being able to provide the "Ültimate Comfort" for your child. And for myself, a happy toddler makes for a truly happy mother.

If you are looking for a better diaper make the switch to the new Drypers Drypantz. I am sure you'd be as happy as I am!

From 1 June to 30 June 2014, simply purchase any 2 packs of Drypers diapers

Then do the following:

1. Send in a scanned or snapped photo of the receipt (proof of purchase); 
2. along with your personal particulars (Name, address, contact no., child’s name and DOB) 

to <>; with subject title [DomesticGoddessWannabe] to receive a $10 FairPrice voucher!

Promotion not applicable to Drypers Drypantz M-4pcs, L-3pcs, XL-3pcs, XXL-3pcs.

Disclaimer: This is part of a series of sponsored conversations between Drypers and The Domestic Goddess Wannabe. All opinions stated are my own. Jadelyn has been a regular user of Drypers since the beginning of 2014, and we strongly recommend the product based on its own merits and first hand user experience.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

coffee cake with coffee buttercream filling and chocolate ganache

I rarely make coffee cakes. I am not the world's biggest coffee drinker, so I guess coffee in a cake does not appeal to me much.

But for some bizarre reason, I decided to have a go at making a coffee sponge cake this week. It was an experiment.
An experiment that turned out so good, I made a second cake within days!

In fact, my 4 year-old loved it so much, he finished half the slice I gave to his Daddy.
Are you sold? Want to make this cake?

Well, here's how. :)

In a small bowl, I added instant coffee powder to the eggs.
Using a fork, I beat the eggs to dissolve the coffee.
Into a mixing bowl, I added the rest of the ingredients - butter, sugar, flour and baking powder.
I lowered the speed of the mixer and added the egg mixture slowly.
Until it all came together. This took about 3 minutes. Remember to scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally.
I divided the batter equally into two greased and lined baking pans and baked the cakes. Once baked they were cooled in the pans for 5-10 minutes before I transferred them onto a wire rack to cool completely.

In the meantime, I made the coffee filling. Since I didn't want to frost the entire cake, I used only half of the portion of ingredients.

I sifted icing sugar and added butter that had softened.
I whisked that, and added coffee extract as well as milk.
You may need to add a tad more milk to achieve a spreadable consistency.
I spread this on the first layer of cake.
Then I placed the second cake on the first, and poured the chocolate ganache over the cake. For step-by-step instructions on how to make the chocolate ganache, see here.
The ganache would flow over the sides.
I just love how every component of this cake came together.
It's just gorgeous.


Coffee Cake with Coffee Butter Cream Filling and Chocolate Ganache (Serves 8-10)
Adapted from Mary Berry's Baking Bible

For the cake:
4 large eggs
2 heaped teaspoons instant coffee granules
225g (8oz) softened butter
225g (8oz) caster sugar
225g (8oz) self-raising flour
2 level teaspoons baking powder

For the Filling:
50g (2oz) softened butter
175g (6oz) sifted icing sugar
1 tablespoon coffee essence* - I used coffee extract 
1 tablespoon milk - I used low fat milk
NOTE: I halved this and use it as a filling.

*Can substitute with 1 heaped teaspoon of instant coffee granules dissolved in 1 tablespoon of water

For the Ganache:
3/4 cup (90ml) whipping cream
6 ounces (170g) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 tablespoon sugar
NOTE: I halved this and use it as a topping.

For the cake:
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/ Fan 160°C/ Gas 4. Grease two 20cm (8 inch) sandwich tins then line the base of each tin with baking parchment.
2. Bread the eggs into a bowl, beat with a fork then stir in the instant coffee until dissolved. Add the remaining ingredients and beat until thoroughly blended. Divide the mixture evenly between the tins and level out.
3. Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 25 minutes or until well risen and the tops of the cakes spring back when lightly pressed with a finger. Leave to cool in the tins for a few minutes then turn out, peel off the parchment and finish cooling on a wire rack.

For the Filling:
4. To make the butter cream filling, blend together the butter, icing sugar and coffee extract until smooth, adding the milk if necessary. When the cakes are completely cold, spread the butter cream on top of the first cake, then lay the second layer on top.

For the Ganache:
In a heavy medium saucepan, stir the cream, chocolate and sugar over low heat until all the chocolate has melted. Set aside to cool.
Pout the ganache over the cake, using an off set spatula to even the top.

I am  sharing this recipe with Cook-Your-Books hosted by Kitchen Flavours.

In a few days time, we are cooking for Cook like a Star with Paula Deen's and Deen brothers theme for the whole month of June 2014.

Please join us, Joyce from Kitchen Flavours, Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids and me, the Domestic Goddess Wannabe and cook like Paula Deen soon!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

simply perfect vanilla cupcakes with swiss meringue buttercream roses

I know I have been posting loads of bakes recently.

I hope you are not tired of reading about my bakes - inspiration struck and I cannot seem to stop myself from taking my mixer out of the cupboard and turning on the oven.

Baking is an addiction, and I am afraid I have a pretty bad case of need-to-fiddle-with-batter right now.
Today I am sharing a post about how to make vanilla bean cupcakes. This is a really simple recipe (as like, 99% of my recipes are) and even if you are a novice baker, this recipe will help you bake some to-die-for cuppies.

I have frosted my cupcakes with Swiss Meringue Buttercream, which I love, but you can also top them with a simple American buttercream, which takes no time at all to prepare.

Here's how to make these show-stoppers anyone would be proud to bring to a bake-sale or a pot-luck party!

Into a mixing bowl, I added the flours, sugar, baking powder and salt. I used the paddle attachment of my mixer to mix this for a minute. Then into this, I added the unsoftened butter and mixed until I had what resembled coarse crumbs.
I added the eggs one at a time, and mixed. As with all bakes, be sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl with a spatula occasionally to ensure that everything is well-mixed.
Once all the eggs had been added, the batter would be thick but smooth.
Into this, I added half of the milk + vanilla extract + vanilla bean paste.
I gave the batter another good scrape with the spatula before adding the rest of the milk mixture.
The batter should be lighter, thinner and you should be able to see the beautiful little bits of vanilla.

I dished the batter into cupcake liners, and baked them.
The cupcakes were slightly domed, which is what you'd want.

I frosted the cupcakes with Swiss Meringue Buttercream to which I had added some purple food colouring.
You can also frost the cupcakes with an American buttercream, using an off-set spatula, like this.

I always have loads of fun when I make cupcakes, and I really hope you give these cuppies a try!

Simply Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes (Makes 24)
Cupcakes adapted from bakingamoment

1 1/2 (150g) cup cake flour
1 1/2 (187.5g) cup all-purpose flour
1 3/4 (393.75g) cups granulated sugar - I reduced this by 50%
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup (226g) unsalted butter, softened, cut into small cubes
4 eggs
1 cup (240ml) milk - I used low-fat
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or vanilla beans from 2 vanilla pods)

Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
Place the flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl and stir to combine.
Add the butter and mix on low speed, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs (2-3 minutes).
Add the eggs, one at a time, and scrape the bottom of the bowl to make sure all the ingredients are well-combined.
Combine the milk and vanilla in a measuring cup. Beat half this mixture into the flour/butter/eggs.
Beat on medium speed for 1 1/2 minutes, scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl, add the remaining milk mixture, and beat for another 30 seconds.
Fill paper liners 2/3 full with batter, and bake for 20 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean.
Cool completely before topping with buttercream.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream (Makes approximately 3 1/2 cups)
Adapted from bakersroyale

5 large egg whites
1 1/2 (337.5g) cup caster sugar
454g unsalted butter, sliced and softened
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine egg whites and sugar in a stand mixer bowl and place it over (not on) simmering water. Heat mixture to 160°F (71°C) while whisking constantly.
Transfer mixer bowl to stand mixer, fitted with a whisk attachment and beat on medium high speed  until mixture cools, doubles in volume and forms stiff peaks; about 10-12 minutes.
Add butter in one piece at a time, mixing to incorporate after each addition. The mixture may appear clumpy and almost curdled looking at first—this is normal. Keep mixing and it will become even and smooth again.
Add salt and flavoring, mix to combine.
NOTE: I keep the remaining buttercream frozen in smaller air-tight containers to be used as and when needed. The buttercream would be thawed overnight in the fridge, then brought to room temperature before being whisked for a short while, then used as required.

I am also linking this post to Little Thumbs Up, hosted by Zoe of Bake For Happy Kids, Doreen of My Favourite D.I.Y., and Tze of Awayofmind Bakery House.

Monday, May 26, 2014

nutella pockets

This is a super quick post because it is a super quick recipe.

While playing with puff pastry and making char siu sou the other day, I had some pastry left and I wondered what to do with it.
I am a huge fan of Nutella, so I figured that chocolate pockets were the way to go since they are super fast, and well, super yummy.

I mean, how can one possibly go wrong with Nutella?

I took a sheet of ready-rolled puff pastry and cut 4 squares out of it. On each square, I placed a tablespoon of Nutella.
I used a pasrty brush to brush some egg wash on the edges.
Then I took one corner and folded the pastry into a triangle.
I used a fork to seal the edges.
And I egg washed the pastry.
They were baked.

And allowed to cool on the tray for 5-10 minutes before I cooled them completely on a wire rack.
Needless to say, these did not hang around for very long.


Nutella Pockets (Makes 24)

1 pack (6 sheets) ready rolled puff pastry, thawed in fridge overnight
1 egg + 3 tablespoon milk, beaten

1. Cut each piece of pastry into 4 squares
2. Place a tablespoon of Nutella in the middle of each square.
3. Brush edges with egg wash. Fold to seal.
4. Seal edges with a fork.
5. Egg wash the pastry.
6. Bake at 200C for 10-12 minutes, or until the tops of the pastry turn golden brown.
7. Cool in tray for 5-10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
NOTE: Can be kept frozen in an air-tight container for up to 2 months. Thaw in fridge before warming up in microwave oven.

I am also linking this post to Little Thumbs Up, hosted by Zoe of Bake For Happy Kids, Doreen of My Favourite D.I.Y., and Tze of Awayofmind Bakery House.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

manhattan cheesecake with chocolate ganache

I have a soft spot for cheesecakes. So when we had a choice from 4 cakes to bake this month at The Cake Slice Bakers, for me, it was a no-brainer.

I chose to bake a Manhattan Cheesecake!
This is a really easy cheesecake to bake because it does not require the cake to sit in a ban-marie (water bath). So it really was a case of put together the base, chill it, blitz the cheesecake mixture, pour onto the base, and bake!

So lets get started!

The first thing I did was to melt the butter. While that happened, I blitzed the graham crackers. It is not easy to find graham crackers in Singapore, so you can substitute this with digestive biscuits. If, like me, you prefer to use graham crackers, you can find them (in of all places) Lucky Plaza.
I added the melted butter.
And blitz again. Until I had what looked like wet-ish breadcrumbs.
This was poured into a greased and lined springform pan.
Using my rice cup, I pressed the crumbs onto the bottom and sides of the pan.
This was placed in the fridge to chill.

In a clean bowl, I added cream cheese and blitzed to soften. Then I added 3/4 cup of caster sugar and blitzed again. Remember to scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula once in a while.
I added the egg yolks, and blitzed some more.
Finally, I added cream, vanilla extract and the zest of an orange and a lemon, and gave the mixture a final good blitz.
You should end up with a smooth mixture.
While all that happened, I whisked the egg whites in a clean bowl until soft peaks formed before adding the caster sugar gradually until the egg whites become shiny.
I added 1/4 of the cheesecake mixture into the egg whites, and folded it in gently before folding in the rest of the cream cheese mixture.
This was poured into the springform pan which was placed on heavy duty aluminium foil (in case anything should spill) and baked.
At the end of the baking time, I turned off the heat and prop the oven door ajar with the handle of a wooden spoon. The cake was left to cool in the oven for an hour.

I chilled the cake over night, then a few hours before serving, I placed chocolate, cream and sugar in a saucepan and stirred this over low heat until all the chocolate had melted. This was left to cool.
Once cooled, I poured the ganache over the cheesecake and used an off set spatula to even out the top.
The cake was placed in the fridge for at least an hour to chill.

Then I removed the ring and garnished it with chocolate curls.
And served the cake.
I am really glad I decided to go with the chocolate ganache rather than strawberries since I was not able to find any strawberries that were pretty enough to be used. That is one of the downside of living in a country where we have to import most things!
If, like the LAM, you prefer softer cheesecakes, then this cake is for you.

The chocolate ganache really went very well with the cake though.

In the words of my 4-year-old, "I REALLY love the chocolate, MOMMY!!"

Manhattan Cheesecake with Chocolate Ganache (Serves 8-10)
Cake adapted from "Great Cakes" by Carole Walters; Topping adapted from Melskitchencafe

For the Crust:
10 double graham crackers (enough to make 1½ cups of crumbs)
2 tablespoons sugar
⅓ cup (75.6g) butter, melted

For the Cheesecake Filling:
1½ pounds (681g) cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup (225g) caster sugar, divided
5 large egg yolks
½ cup (120ml) heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1½ teaspoons freshly grated lemon rind
1½ teaspoons freshly grated orange rind
3 large egg whites

For the Topping:
3/4 cup (90ml) whipping cream
6 ounces (170g) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 tablespoon sugar
Chocolate curls for garnish

For the Crust:
Break the crackers into the container of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the sugar and pulse until you get fine crumbs.
Pour in the melted butter, pulsing just to blend.
Empty the crumbs into the springform pan.  Using a spoon, press a thick layer of crumbs against the sides extending about ⅔ of the way up. Using a flat-bottomed glass, press the remaining crumbs evenly over the bottom of the pan. Be sure to flatten the crumbs with sides meet the bottom. Refrigerate.

For the Cheesecake Filling:
Preheat the oven to 325℉ (150C) and prepare a 9-inch springform pan by wrapping the base in foil.
Wash the processor bowl and steel blade.
Put the cream cheese and ¾ cup of sugar in processor and process for 15 seconds, scrape down the sides of the bowl and process 5 seconds longer. While the machine is running, pour the egg yolks through the feeder tube and process 10 seconds.
Add the cream, vanilla, and lemon and orange rinds. Process 10 seconds longer.
In the large bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whip attachment, beat the egg whites to soft peaks.
Add ¼ cup sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until the whites are shiny (about 1 minute).
Fold ¼ of the cheese mixture into the whites taking about 10 turns to lighten. Fold in the remaining cheese mixture, taking an additional 30 turns.
Pour the batter into the springform pan and bake in a preheated oven for 40 minutes.
At the end of the baking time, turn off heat and leave the oven door slightly ajar. Cool the cake in the oven for 1 additional hour.
Remove from the oven and place the pan on the cake rack to cool for at least 3 hours, then refrigerate until ready to decorate.

For the Topping:
In a heavy medium saucepan, stir the cream, chocolate and sugar over low heat until all the chocolate has melted. Set aside to cool.
Pout the ganache over the cake, using an off set spatula to even the top. Chill.
Just before serving, top with chocolate curls.

I am also sharing this recipe with Cook-Your-Books hosted by Kitchen Flavours.