Monday, September 11, 2017


They say that the key to a man's heart is through his stomach but I say the key to a woman's heart is through sweet preparations.
Sugar, spice and everything nice. This is the kind of concoction we need in our lives. Success is and will always be 99% perspiration & 1% inspiration. So let me share with you the experience that turned me into a one-day Master Chef!
I've always dreamed of having my bakeshop cafe one day. Oh, who can resist the smell of freshly baked bread muffins, freshly brewed coffee & the taste of oozing molten chocolate lava, right?! It's just love at first sight, love at first bite, love that lasts from day 'til night. Being a sweet-tooth that I am, I was fortunate enough to get invited to the exclusive workshop hosted by Kenwood CCA.

Yes, you're definitely in for a treat as Kenwood is known for its quality, innovation and design since 1947! As the expert in food preparation, Kenwood has made every meal special & every Chef more at ease. Now you knowhy one Kenwood appliance is sold every three seconds around the world. 

And to make this day even more eventful, CCA, known for their culinary expertise, conducted this baking workshop with the respected Chef Bruno Tirel as our mentor.
So let me share with you the 2 recipes we had for the day:

 For the cake:
120g butter
300g sugar
2 eggs 
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
250g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp cocoa powder
240ml butter milk
2 tbsp red food colouring

For the buttercream:
125g butter, softened
125g cream cheese
1 tbsp vanilla extract
200g icing sugar

Heat the oven to 180 degrees celsius and grease and line two 15cm round cake tins. Add the butter and sugar to the bowl, attach the creaming beater and mix on a medium speed until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla extract and mix on medium speed until they are fully incorporated. Remove the creaming butter and attach the K beater, add the flour, baking powder and cocoa powder a bit at a time, mixing on slow speed between each addition until fully incorporated. Measure out the buttermilk in a separate jug and add the red food colouring, stir together. Add the red mix to the bowl a little at a time until the shade of red desired is achieved and mix on medium speed until you have a smooth deep red batter. 
Divide the mixture between the two cake tins and bake for 25-30mins, or until a knife inserted into the sponge comes out clean.
Remove from the oven, leave in the tin for 10 mins. then turn out completely on wire racks.
Meanwhile, make the buttercream icing. Add the butter, cream cheese and vanilla extract to the bowl, attach the creaming beater and mix together on medium speed until smooth. Gradually add the icing sugar and mix until you have a creamy icing. Chill for 30 mins.
To decorate, place one of the cake halves on a plate and cover the top and sides with the icing. Put the other half on top and cover the top and sides of that with the remaining icing.

Chocolate and Chili Brownies with Cognac


250g dark chocolate (80%)
50g milk chocolate
150g butter
150g brown sugar
150g golden caster sugar
4 eggs
100g plain flour
A pinch of Salt
1 tbsp chili powder
2 tbsp Cognac
4 tbsp cocoa powder

Heat the oven to 180 degrees and line a square/rectangular baking tin with baking paper. Put a pan of water on to boil and gently melt the dark chocolate, milk chocolate and butter together in a heatproof bowl above the water. Stir occasionally and take it off the heat as soon as it is melting together. Yes, this is the right way to melt the chocolates without destroying their texture and quality.
Sophie (in pink) having her moment with her chocolates
Twinie (in black) admiring the melted chocolates

Attach the whisk & pour in the melted chocolate, both sugars, the eggs and whisk on high speed for 5 minutes. Remove the whisk and attach the K beater. Gradually add the flour with the machine running on low speed. Add the salt, chili powder, Cognac and cocoa, mix well until fully combined. 
Pour the mix into the baking tray and bake for 20 minutes, until they are firm, yet soft and squidgy. 
Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
Dust with cocoa and cut into 12 squares or as desired.
Chef Tirel also gave us baking 101 tips that proved to be useful:
No non-stick pan? No problem! You don't have to buy an expensive pan, you can just D-I-Y! It's simple! Grease the sides of the pan with butter (always butter, never margarine!) and then finish it off by coating the greased area with flour!
Voila! You have a non-stick pan alright.
 Way to go Chef!
Baking is an art of exact measurement. Low speed, medium speed, high speed---the right mix will always deliver mouthwatering results. Oh, whoever said that a chef can never woo a woman has never met the right chef! Chef Tirel has won my heart at the very moment he brought out those heavenly Red Velvets & Brownies from the oven. Yes, I just went loco & couldn't wait to dig in.
Oh I love saying hello to sweet beginnings and hate bidding goodbye to bitter endings. This is exactly how I felt as our Kenwood x CCA class was about to end. My heart was slowly melting as I was already boxing our labor of love. I knew the class was about to end and all I wanted was to create more baked goodies. I felt so proud of myself as I stared, smelled & tasted our Red Velvets and Brownies. It was indeed a taste of success down to the last bite!
Hope Chef Bruno Tirel found my twin & I's masterpiece a Master-Chef worthy dish. Definitely teamwork goes a long way! So proud of ourselves.
Your MasterChef,


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