Happy Easter Sunday! πŸ°πŸ£

Hi everyone! The past few months have been quite a wild ride, and I just realised that I haven’t posted in so long! With lockdown and school closure and then return to school again, life really had taken many different turns since the beginning of January. So I am so glad that restrictions are starting to lift again as we entered Easter holiday. πŸ˜… (Plus I am literally dying for a haircut lol! πŸ’‡β€β™‚οΈ)

Meanwhile, happy Easter Sunday to everyone! I decided to make a Easter theme mango cheesecake today after being so inspired by all the amazing bakes I saw on Instagram. It’s been a while since I have baked something more elaborated, so it’s a refreshing feeling to get back into! πŸ˜ƒ

Here’s to 2021!

2020 has been a very hard year for many, but at last we are looking towards a new beginning of another year. πŸ‘πŸ‘ New Year’s Eve marks a time to reflect and learn, and what a year this has been!

As I was reminiscing the past year last night, I stumbled upon a video on the internet (typical insomniac behaviour lol) that recapped all the old animations I used to enjoy as a child. I have always been a fan of anime. It’s crazy to think some of these animes are over 20 years old (even older than me at that 😬) since I feel like I have been watching them since forever. It’s really a sad, constant reminder that time really does fly by- every small and seemingly insignificant moments in life need to be cherished and treasured before they disappear forever. ❀️

The future is never set in stone, and endless possibilities and dreams lay ahead! So, let’s smash this year! (Like I did to my chocolate ball dessert! πŸ˜‚) Wishing everyone a happy new year! πŸ₯³πŸ₯³πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽŠπŸŽŠπŸŽŠ May all your dreams come true in 2021! ❀️❀️

Coconut rice pudding πŸ₯₯ and mango πŸ₯­ inside!

As Long As There’s Christmas

Happy Christmas Eve! πŸŽ„β˜ƒοΈπŸŒŸ Almost a week into tier 4, but funnily enough I am still enjoying my time away from work and being left to my own devices. 😌 Obviously this Christmas is a lot quieter than previous years, but I think it’s good to find some peace in these uncertain times.

Continuing my spree of festive baking, I decided to make a traditional Yule Log today. The filling is a whipped cream with raspberries, wrapped in a chocolate sponge coated in dark chocolate ganache and decorated with tempered chocolates. πŸ˜‹ It’s very straightforward, and I had such a fun time making it because I just love doing tempered chocolate work. πŸ˜πŸ‘Œ And to finish, all it needs a little dust of icing sugar to bring it to life! ❄️❄️

When You Wish Upon a Star β­οΈ

Despite the fact we are approaching ChristmasπŸŽ„, I know for many of us in the UK, there will be no moods for celebration. The chaos that has happened in the past few days had most certainly angered and frustrated me (and it’s much more than just having my holiday plan tossed right out of the window). I do believe tier 4/lockdown is the right thing to do, but I sighed at the incompetence, disorganisation and seemingly lack of care shown by the British government that has allowed the situation to be escalated to this stage… It’s such a sad way to end a truly unusual year (and who knows what’s in hold for the new year). Meanwhile, however, I am just happy to stay in my tiny flat and keep myself occupied for this festive period. I am not unused to celebrating the holiday alone, but I know many will be disappointed of being unable to celebrate with their families. I do hope everyone out there get to enjoy the holiday in some way despite the circumstances. ❀️

Taking my mind off everything going on, I decided to go ahead with some festive baking in the upcoming days. Today marks the winter solstice and apparently the ‘Christmas star’ ⭐️ is set to align for the first time in 800 years tonight from a social media account I have read. What a coincidence today that I decided to bake a ‘star bread’ (and it is REALLY a coincidence I promise!πŸ˜‚ Was wanting to make it when I saw it on Instagram a while ago!πŸ˜„)

I used a simple white bread dough recipe (It’s the same dough recipe I used here πŸ‘‰https://tangosbaking.home.blog/2020/07/07/rise-and-shine/), and decided to go with a savoury filling of spring onions, ginger, garlic and coriander. I also added hot olive oil into the spring onion filling (apparently it helps to make the aroma of the spring onions to come out better??) The bread is actually easier to shape than I thought – you can see the steps below. Why not give it a try? πŸ˜‰

1. Divide the dough into two equal portions and roll into discs. Spread the filling over one of the discs.
2. Cover with the other dough disc. Put a cup over the centre to lightly stamp out a circle. Use a sharp knife to divide the edges into 16 equals portions.
3. Twist each of the edges and join two edges together to form the shape as shown in the image above. Allow for a second prove until doubled in size. Brush with olive oil before baking in the oven at 190C for about 15-20 minutes.
Smells amazing! πŸ˜πŸ˜‹

Wishing everyone a good week ahead of them!

14 Days to Christmas, 7 Days of Isolation…(?)

It’s been over a month since I last posted… and needless to say work and lockdown has completely took over my life in the past month… πŸ˜… (I was still required to go to work, so not that my routine changed dramatically at all, but the hours have been intense at times. πŸ˜›) However, one more week of work left before my official holiday, and I am determined to finish on a good note πŸ’ͺ and can’t for Christmas to finally come! πŸŽ…πŸŽ„β„οΈ

Unfortunately, a close colleague of mine has been tested positive for COVID-19 a few days ago, so I am currently sitting out for self-isolation at home for another week. (Although a little birdie told me that self-isolation period is going to be shortened, so I may be returning to work sooner than I thought…) Meanwhile, it’s good that I finally have some free time for myself to do some baking. Today, I have decided to make some flower sausage breads using a technique I learnt from making a sausage roll wreath last Christmas (after I saw that on Bake Off!) Bringing a little sunshine β˜€οΈ and a feel of spring 🌼🌼 into this gloomy weather! 😊 I was so happy that the dough still managed to rise very well despite the freezing temperature haha! πŸ₯Άβ„️❄️

I have no idea what I will expect in my upcoming holiday (since I am nervous about booking anything in advance due to fears of change in restrictions), but hopefully some exciting fun will be on the horizon. 😁 What are your plans for Christmas? πŸŽ„

Happy Halloween!

A late β€˜Happy Halloween’ from the UK! πŸ‘»πŸŽƒIt’s been quite an eventful night as a second lockdown has been announced tonight… However, I shall remain positive for the upcoming month and take it a day as it goes. 😊 I hope all of you will be enjoying a fun Saturday night whatever you will be doing and wherever you are! πŸ‘Œ

And I did get around to doing some small things to celebrate this Halloween by making some little β€˜devil’ steamed pork buns! 😈 They weren’t absolutely perfect but were great fun to do (and hilarious too – I keep changing the design as I was making them before finally settling on one! πŸ˜‚)

Have a good weekend!

My Favourite Things of the Fall

Just realise it’s the last week of October and it will be Halloween πŸŽƒ this weekend! But meanwhile I am going to enjoy my week off work and hopefully do some more baking in the meantime! πŸ˜‰πŸ˜‚ (Since work lately has made it near impossible for me to bake at all…)

From our visit to Brighton, we had some green apples 🍏🍏 left over from our hotel breakfast sets. So I decided to make some mini apple pies using them, depicting my favourite things from the fall season (mid autumn festival πŸŒ•, Halloween πŸ‘», autumn leaves πŸ‚ and, of course, squirrels! 🐿❀️) I used my normal recipe of shortcrust pastry which is 2:1 ratio of plain flour to butter. Warm, buttery and tart πŸ˜‹ πŸ˜‹ – perfect in this cold, rainy day!

What are your favourite things in the fall?

Chill Day 😎😴

Happy Sunday! Only a very short post today, but it’s nice to get back to some cooking/baking after some time. After several long weeks of work, it’s nice to be able to catch a break today, so I decided to make a classic brunch with a bit of a twist. These fluffy American pancakes πŸ₯ž are infused with nori (Japanese seaweed) and served with crispy bacons πŸ₯“ – one of my favourite things of all time! πŸ˜‹ Perfect and rich when served with a dab of butter!

What do you like to eat your pancakes with? What are you having for brunch/breakfast today? Let me know in the comments below! πŸ˜‰

Looking for Alaska

It’s obviously no secret that I love baking. One of the greatest joys I get from baking is allowing myself to being in the moment and feel accomplished in my finished product. Of course, sometimes things don’t always go to plan. (And that’s when my perfectionist self can get really disheartened and frustrated…) But I always remind myself that, ultimately like many things, it is a process of learning. ☺️

As my visit to family in Scotland is almost coming to an end (time really does fly), I thought I will make another ice cream dessert before returning to London! πŸ˜‹πŸ¨ Yesterday, I had my second attempt at making at a baked Alaska (after the big mess that was the first go. πŸ˜…) I made some adjustments this time including using a bowl and cling film to set and shape the ice cream beforehand, before covering it in an Italian meringue (not sure what I was thinking when I used the less stable French meringue last time… πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ) The final result was a lot better than what I had last time! 😁

Tip the set ice cream from the bowl (this one is a strawberry flavoured ice cream) over the sponge cake
Cover and seal the ice cream completely inside the Italian meringue
Return to the oven briefly and use a torch to colour the meringue πŸ”₯
Ready to serve! πŸ“πŸ“

Hope everyone enjoy their final week of the holiday! πŸ˜‰β€οΈ

Bao

Have any of you guys seen the Pixar short film Bao? Obviously though, I am here to do my usual talk about food not movies! πŸ˜‚ β€˜Bao’ is the Chinese word for β€˜bun’ as in bread. I grew up eating bao regularly whilst living in Hong Kong, though mostly outside when we are eating dim sum during our weekly family Saturday brunch.

Growing in an Asian household, baking wasn’t something that came naturally to me as steaming was the more prominent cooking method my family used. Likewise, bao is a steamed bun rather than those being baked in the oven. Yesterday, I decided to use my mum’s giant wok to do some steaming.

The bao I made is officially known as β€˜Gua bao’ – a popular Taiwanese street food, though more well known simply as β€˜bao’ in the Western world in the recent years. The recipe I used for the buns is from BBC Good Food (LinkπŸ‘‰ https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/steamed-bao-buns) I adapted the recipe with a fairly traditional stewed pork belly and cucumber filling. It’s a very straight recipe to use, so give it a try! πŸ˜‰