Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Weekend of Indulgence: Hi-Tea @ Cosmo Lounge, Hilton KL

Haven't done much baking lately. I missed baking but for a long time now, weekends were filled with activities. Just imagine, 12 birthdays over a period of 5-6 weeks not to mention a couple of weddings here and there plus visiting friends from offshore, these were more than enough to take its toll on me. But there had been lots of eating though...hehe.

A few weeks ago, I once again spent a weekend of indulgence at my favourite hotel in KL at the moment - Hilton Kuala Lumpur. This time, was hoping to be upgraded to their Executive Floor but the furthest I got was their Honors Floor..*grin*
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Anyhow, the entire afternoon was spent having hi-tea at the Cosmo Lounge. The hi-tea spread was rather small (both in selection and serving - you will see later), but was rather interesting. Everything came in bite-size servings, this was the first time I actually saw only 2 small cuts of "chee cheong fun" served on a sauce plate, and this was later reduced to just one small piece. *LOL* But the small serving worked in a sense that I got a chance to taste almost EVERYTHING at least once. Enough yakking, let's take a look at some of their spread.

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Asian appetizers. First time I saw chee cheong fun served in such miniscule serving. The grilled unagi was the best. Sadly, only 3 plates were replenished each time. Still it didn't stop me from having countless plates of this.

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The prawn in cold mango consomme was yummy!

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Savoury pastries.

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More western-styled appetizers and various sandwiches. Not bad...Not the tuna nor egg sandwiches though. Fillings were surprisingly measly.

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This was another favourite of mine, creamy mushroom in the smallest ever brioche that I came across. Small enough to pop the entire thing into your mouth at one go.

Highlight of every hi-teas - the DESSERTS!
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Started with something light...

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Freshly prepared crepes with choices of fillings and condiments...Delicious!

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At this point, any pretense to hold back was lost. Major pig-out time!

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This looks cute, doesn't it?

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Another 2 of my favourites, Chocolate Truffle and Lime Creme Brulee. Truly yummilicious!

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This looked ugly, I know. They called this Chocolate Fritters. Not very nice though since it was quite cold. Might be nice if served warm or when just fried.
Also included was a chocolate fountain with various condiments - fruits, marshmallows, baked goods. No need to go into details here. After all, one can never go wrong with a chocolate fountain.

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What a nice way to spend the afternoon. Surrounded by a relaxing environment with live piano music, lots of yummy goodies and plenty of conversations, it's undoubtedly one of my favourite pastimes for a lazy weekend afternoon. My only gripe was the hi-tea only comes with one miserable round of coffee/tea. Duh, how stingy!

Cosmo Lounge
Hilton Kuala Lumpur

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Bakerzin, a Sweet Tooth's Heaven...

By now, I would say that Bakerzin has become a name synonymous with "sweets" and "desserts". A for a sweet tooth person like me, it is almost like a 2nd home - not quite, but close. (hehheh).

Why do I like them so much? Because I reckon that they go for quality instead of quantity. Have a peak at their cake counter and you would see that most of them are rather small in portion but take a bite and you will find that only fine ingredients are used in the cakes. One exception is their Apple Strudel, which is rather monstrous in size and in my opinion the most value-for-money that I came across so far. But that's another story...

I have a few favourites from Bakerzin but today I will just introduce one of them. Named "Sweet Pleasure", it is indeed what its namesake suggests. Here's the official description of this dessert..."Layers of hazelnut praline dacquoise, Jivara milk chocolate ganache with fleur de sel, topped with chocolate mousse." Aptly described, there is nothing else I could add except to give my two thumbs up!!!
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Layers of Sweet Pleasure
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And myCoffee's daily quintessential: Today's pick - Cafe Late.
Loved how it is prepared!

1 Utama and Bangsar Shopping Village

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Bitten by the 'L" Bug (Coffee Liquor Chiffon Cake, Chewy Chunky Choc Cookies, Multigrain Raisin Bread)

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Yup, I have been bitten by the "L" bug; "Lazy" bug, that is. Haven't had much motivation to bake recently and partly due to that for the past few weekends, I have been attending birthday celebrations, pre-wedding gatherings, hen parties as well as wedding dinners. "Phew", September and November are such "hot" periods to get hitched.

So for the past couple of weeks, these are the only things that came out from my oven...

Coffee Liquor Chiffon Cake based on this recipe. I tweaked it a bit to use whatever ingredients I happened to have in my pantry. But anyhow, I used 5 whole eggs and as for the coffee liquor, I used Amarula instead of Kahlua. I wasn't overly satisfied with the outcome of the cake. Probably due to my substitution (i.e., quantity of eggs used), the chiffon cake was not as high as I would have like. Also, it was slightly "holey". Taste-wise, it was pretty alright. Coffee with subtle taste of the Amarula, it is more suited for adult tastebuds though.
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One of my nephews, Clement had been bugging me to bake him some chocolate chip cookies. What my nephew wants, my nephew gets (ceh...). I used my current favourite chocolate chip cookie recipe. It's chewy instead of crispy. Using chocolate chunks means that you will get melted chocolate puddles when you bite into the cookie. Like this......
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After all the coffee, Amarula and chocolate, I must make something healthy, right? So out came this healthy Multigrain Raisin Wholemeal Bread. I bought the pre-mixed multigrain/seeds packet from Aunt Catherine (Best23) and followed the attached recipe. Only thing that I added some molasses sugar and threw in some raisins. Yum....
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Sunday, October 15, 2006

MyCoffee Eats: Brunch @ Delicious Cafe

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Duck & Pomelo Salad at Delicious

Been slacking lately. Both in posting and in baking. There are tons of pictures in my archive that I have yet to post. Slowly sorting them out now.

One of my favourite way to spend the morning on weekends is to have a long brunch at any of my favourite cafes or bistros. One of them is Delicious at Bangsar Village. There is almost no other better way to spend a late weekend morning than to chill out with a close friend over delicious food and coffees at one's favourite cafe/bistro.

I was there recently and saw that they had changed their menu a little. At the same time, I can't help but to notice that their breakfast menu is a lot similar to bills (a famous 'breakfast institution' in Sydney) which I went not too long ago. For example, among the dishes on the menu include ricotta pancakes as well as corn fritters.
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Corned Beef Hash @ Delicious

My friend and I opted for something different. She ordered the Corned Beef Hash which was served with 2 sunnysides and some roasted baby tomatoes. I already had breakfast so I chose the Asian-influenced Duck & Pomelo Salad (see pic above) instead. Both were good although we thought that the breakfast dish was rather small portion for the price charged. I like my salad a lot. They were pretty generous with the duck slices. Coupled with lots of crushed peanuts and pomelo bits, it was truly scrumptious, especially if you are a salad lover like me.

Delicous Cafe
Ground Floor, Bangsar Village Shopping Center

MyCoffee Eats: Dinner @ Telawi Street Bistro (TSB)

A friend from Shanghai was in town recently. He said he has not been to Bangsar for ages and was keen to see the changes. So I brought him there and we had dinner at TSB.

I have been to TSB a few times although not recently. I rather like the place because I find their menu to be pretty interesting. Some of my favourites include their BBQ Salmon as well as their truffled mash.

All of us ended up having fish. My friend from Shanghai chose Cod with Nori while Ann chose Crispy Skin Sea Bass. I opted for another version of Cod, I think it was pan-fried.
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Cod with Nori Strips
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Crispy Skin Sea Bass
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Cod, pan-fried? Served with arugula salad.
Both my friends remarked that they like what they had although Ann said she couldn't figure out any 'crispy' part on her fish. As for myself, to be honest, I couldn't remember much about my dish. I reckon it was pretty alright albeit average, not something I would re-order. The flavour was rather subdued and the accompanying salad was just, erm, salad.

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Caramelized banana tart
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Lemon Tart
Here are the desserts. Ann and I shared the caramelized banana tart (could not recall actual name) while my other friend had the lemon tart. Not bad, but not much 'wow' factor either. If I really need to compare, I would say I prefered the lemon tart.

Telawi Street Bistro
1-3 Jalan Telawi 3
Bangsar Baru.
Tel: 03-2284 3168

Monday, October 09, 2006

Tagged for a Meme!

Just found out that I got tagged by Eva. It's a slow afternoon so I thought I would play along too...

I am thinking about: My weekend getaway this week at Hilton KL – yay!
I said: Love must be blind! Thank God, I am not.
I want to: eat all I want and never gain weight! ;-p
I wish: for things to go my way for once (or always – hehe)
I regret: not spending enough time with my nephews and nieces…
I hear: looney tunes from Jay Chou and other ‘princes’ of chinese long songs – current addiction.
I am: going to chase away all negative vibes, or die trying….!
I dance: not nearly enough too.
I sing: when no one is listening – and they should be glad!
I cry: when I feel like it.
I am not: going to stop enjoying what I like best about my life.
I am: going to start taking more chances in life.
I write: too much nonsense and not enough sense.
I confuse: when people asked me to take a wild guess......
I need: to learn or do something new.
I tag: Swee and Evan for this meme.

That's all.
(Anyone watched The Devil Wears Prada?) ;-)

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Fly Me To The Moon 2006 (Mooncakes!)

It is 'that' time again. October 6th marks the 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese Lunar Calendar - Mooncake Festival.

This time, I started off with some grand plans to make various types of mooncakes. But with one more week to go and no mooncakes in sight, I have to scale down my grand plans to less ambitious means and settled in just making some 'ping pei' or chilled mooncakes. Much easier and less time-consuming to make than the traditional baked types. Although I did make a traditional baked type but in flaky pastry version.
Let's kill the suspense, here are my humble offerings for the Mooncake Festival:
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Nutty Coconut Chilled Mooncake
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Black Sesame Red Bean Mooncake (A bit 'cacat' looking because I tried out another mooncake skin recipe but taste wise, my favourite)
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Traditional Flaky Mooncake with Pumpkin & Sweet Potato Paste. (No sugar-added)

To see what I baked last year, please click here, here, here and here.

I ended up with some leftover mashed pumpkin so I baked a loaf of Honey Wholemeal Pumpkin Bread with Pumpkin Seeds. Very nice, if I may say.
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