Monday, May 26, 2014

Mini Pavlova - The HOT stuff !

I have settled down, Finally! I just ended the week with my son's 1st birthday bash which literally rock the block, thanks to all who helped made it happened!

I would write about that separately as I believe it's going to be quite lengthy since I baked a few desserts myself.

A small preview of my dessert station for a peek-a-boo feel on how the next post going to be.

I want to talk about Ms. Pavlova here. By it's name, it makes me feel like name after a music teacher but I just recently found out that it was name after a russian ballerina, Anna Pavlova who toured the place pavlova was created in 1926. Although this dessert have been around for long but this is now a current craze here in Singapore. We are pretty back dated on desserts don't you think?

I have been wanting to try to make this since 4 years ago but I was just afraid that it was going to be too sweet because of the sweet meringue. And since IG and FB have been huha-ing with bakers and cafes serving pavlovas, Boy, i was fooled. This dessert tasted so light that you would not mind another serving. So here I am going to share with you this easy recipe and if you are a fruit lover, THIS is the dessert for you!

I served this during my son's party and for the first 10 mins, 20 mini pavlovas was gone. I served again another 30 of them 1 hr later and yup, it was gone the next 45 mins too! I believe even some had 2nd servings. Thank you to them. This was the HOT STUFF of the day.

During my first trial, I baked a chocolate pavlova and it had some cracks. And when I was doing my research on why the cracks happened, Nigella Lawson said that it has nothing to do with the hot oven or the cooling process, it was just the chemistry of the cocoa that made it crack. But that does not matter because it still tastes divine. Oh! I love her! 

See that crack! I made a huge one (30cm diameter) with 1/2 batch of the recipe. 

The mini pavlovas was without chocolate so no cracks so far and this is the recipe that I was going to share today. 

Mini Pavlova (from Nigella

make about 30 pcs of a standard cupcake size/ 2 x 9inch pavlova

Pavlova is a meringue cake that has a light and delicate crisp crust and a soft sweet marshmallow center. This lovely dessert is typically served with softly whipped cream and fresh fruit.

  • large egg whites
  • pinch of salt
  • 500 grams caster sugar ( i reduced this to 420 grams )
  • teaspoons cornflour ( i used 2 teaspoons only )
  •  teaspoon vanilla extract ( I used vanilla essence of coz! )
  • teaspoons  white vinegar ( i used distilled white vinegar from Heinz )
  • 750 ml whipping cream ( I used 38% fat content)
  • 1 tablespoon of icing sugar ( I added)

  • Fresh fruit - i used 1 tub of  strawberries, 2 myanmar mangoes , 1/2 box of blueberries .
  • You can also use: raspberries, blackberries, passion fruit, peaches, pineapple, or other fruit of your choice

    1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/gas mark 4/350ºF.
    2. Whisk the egg whites with the salt until they're holding firm peaks but are not stiff. Gently add in the sugar, spoonful after spoonful, still beating, until you've got a bowl full of gleaming, satiny, snowy meringue. Sprinkle the cornflour, a few drops of vanilla and the vinegar on top and fold in to combine.
    3. Draw 6 circles of approximately 10cm / 4 inch circles (using a pint glass as a guide, if this helps) on each of the parchment-lined sheets. Scoop your meringue into a big piping bag and you can you use whatever tip you like. I used the flower tip. I don't draw the circles coz it's a hassle, but for consistency, swirl your tip twice and finish in the top side to create the indentation in the center.
    4. If you are making a 1 big huge pavlova (this recipe can make 2 of those) . Spoon the meringue onto the baking parchment into the delineated circles, and spread and smooth to fill. You want to make the meringue slightly higher at the rims, or just use the back of the spoon to make an indentation in the centre to hold the cream and fruit later.
    5. Put into the oven, turn it down to 150ºC/gas mark 2/300ºF, and bake for 30 - 45 minutes. Turn the oven off and leave them in for another 30 minutes, then take out of the oven to cool.If you have a small oven like me, just transfer them to on top of your oven so that it stay warm and then after 30 mins to wire racks so that you can bake another tray.
    6. When you want to assemble them, pipe cream into the indentation. Place, one by one, a few strawberries and a few mangoes and blueberries and pomegranate so that they look well filled but not crammed. Dust with cocoa powder.

  • Note: This recipe can be halved or doubled but make sure you have enough whipping room in your mixer.

Hope you will enjoy that!

Baking a lil magic,

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

I am a Baker + Mom + Wife + Employee + Blogger

When I first started this blog in November 2010, my intention was to share recipes and photos of what I have created. Recipes from which I have taken off the the internet, baking blogs and tv websites. After 4 years of having this blog, I posted a good 42 entries which also means that it took me on average 10 post a year. Oh my, and I thought that I have been busy but that's really slow.

I did not stop baking after having another baby, No! But the little man does keeps me very busy. Here's a share of my cute chubby little family.

I have been baking for almost every 2 weeks for 2014 but I just do not have the time to pen (type in this case) all my recipes down. Apart from that , I have been also so busy attending baking classes on my own to increase my knowledge. 

Classes and Workshops that I have attended so far:

  1. Cupcakes ( Baking and decorating with buttercream & fondant )
  2. Swiss Rolls Class ( Commercial Class )
  3. Apam Polkadots and Apam Mekar class
  4. Wilton Course 1 :  Decorating Basics
  5. Pound Cakes Class
  6. French Bread Creation: Baguette/ Dinner Rolls/ Soup Bowls / Batard
  7. Hi-tea Workshops
  8. Strawberry Shortcake Class
  9. Entrepreneurship Seminars
  10. Bake Cakes like a Pro Course
With all the above, which does not include my routine extra-curricular activities like my religious classes, yoga and aqua aerobics,  I also do take orders from time to time. This is really really seasonal and always according to my schedule. I apologize that sometimes I do have to reject some requests if I feel that it's going to be too rushing for me. It's not all the time though and I am sorry. As I promise perfect and delicious products by Charm Bakes, I shall not let time be a challenge.

But , just please do remember that I have 2 young kids now age 3 and 1 , a man-child to care, a helper to manage whom have been a great help in cleaning all my work done and taking turns to take care of my kids while I'm busy trying a new recipes and with all this I am a Business Analyst in a company for 5 years already. Hopefully now you see my time juggling in which I am starting to be an expert on.

I again thank all my readers for even glancing at my unexciting post but I will try my best to upgrade myself all the time. 

Hopefully I could write slowly all those pending recipes throughout the rest of 2014, (on god's will) . I could only do a small collage of it. :-(

To wrap things up, this is actually my 1st post for 2014 and I could not believe my self that I am still going strong and up for new challenges.

I thank you all for your support and do requests for recipes and I will try to prioritize them.

This is my passion and this is who I will be.

Lots of Magic,