Coffee & Cake @ Assembly Coffee on 17Mar2016

coffee + apply crumble with ice cream

coffee + apple crumble with ice cream

3 OPS (Outram Primary School) classmates came over to my place & we had a nice, enjoyable homecooked lunch on 17.3.2016. ^^

after a great lunch, dessert, chit chat, we decided to go out for a cuppa.

one friend had to leave so 3 of us went to assembly coffee at evans road in 1 car. 🙂

we ordered cappuccino, flat white, hot chocolate + one apple crumble to share.

last time i came here was with family on 28.12.2014. that time the latte art was good & lemon meringue was very good!

apple crumble with ice cream

apple crumble with ice cream

lemon meringue ran out this time.

my friend ordered an apple crumble to share.

it was pretty good actually. apple was not too sweet, nicely done, texture & taste. crumle top was great & the pie base was good too.

maybe i can make this cake.  i make an ok jam crumb cake. & before that i made a pretty good apple pie too. so maybe can combine the 2 together.

flat white

flat white

i had my usual flat white. no much latte art today. barista not around?

coffee is good here though not really standout vs say chye seng huat at tyrewhitt road & dutch colony at pasarbella @ grandstand or carpenters & cook.

it was great spending time with old friends from primary school. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Tiramisu – A Charming Dessert

tiramisu

tiramisu – a charming dessert

my wife & i are not very dessert people. so i never thought i would get into cakes & baking etc. 🙂

i chanced on the chocolate lava cake early on. it was easy to make, had the wow factor and solve my problem of having to buy cakes or just eat fruits after my homecooked dinners which i started in mar2012. 🙂

after that i tried apple pie. it was pretty good or at least ok, but if i also had to make the dough which i did, it was quite a bit of trouble, so i made about 3 apple pies & gave it up.

after a very long break, like almost 2 years since my first lava cake (& i also stopped lava cake for 9 months having gotten tired of it after serving it for many homecooked dinners), i tried a jam crumb cake which was pretty good as well, though it had far less wow factor. then in may2014, after buying the tofu cheesecake from sun with moon wheelock for my domestic helper’s birthday, i again chanced on a tofu cheese cake. it was easy too like the lava cake, all you have to do was blend. 🙂

so tofu cheese cake went on for couple of months, & i made it again for a friend’s party this evening. anyhow i was inspired by 1 of my wife’s friend who did an awesome tiramisu.

after googling for the recipe including videos recipes, i did my no-bake tiramisu for the very first time, and it turned out wonderfully the first time, on 26.7.2014. i was happy enough with it to serve it to my friends at a 11pax lobster menu dinner on 30.7.2014 & everyone simply swore by it, and according to one, it now displaced my lava cake & tofu cheese cake as his favourite, but you know often times it’s just a change, something new for the time. 🙂

tiramisu

tiramisu – a charming dessert

it was a surprise to me but as it turned out, tiramisu was the easiest of all the desserts i have made. 🙂

i used 1/2 portion of the video recipe i saw here.

i separated the egg yolks & white of 3 eggs. my son had bought me a hand mixer from UK when he was back in dec2013 & i decided to use it for the first time.

whisking the eggs to soft peaks was a breeze. 🙂 i added 2 tablespoon sugar as i whisked to soft peaks, as chef john of food wishes.com called, the shaving cream consistency. haha! 🙂

i added 250g mascarpone cheese to the yolks & whisked to get the nice custard. then i folded the meringue in 2 batches into the custard. that’s done.

i put 200ml freshly grounded expresso from my coffee machine in a flat dish & added 1.2 tablespoon of brandy (otard), 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence & 1 teaspoon sugar.

then i took the savoiardi finger biscuits & dipped them lightly in the expresso & lined one layer on the glass dish. i added 1/2 the custard then another layer & the custard again. i finished off by dusting cocoa powder through a sieve & then using a large knife scrapped the chocolate flakes from the back of a chocolate bar & added to the cake. then i left it in the fridge overnight.

tiramisu

tiramisu

tiramisu

tiramisu

tiramisu

tiramisu

tiramisu

tiramisu

tiramisu

tiramisu – a charming dessert

well the result was nothing less than sensational, not too sweet, nice expresso & liquor, and marvellously consistent malleable textured cake. 🙂

i think i know what’s the next cake i will try to make – a banoffee cake!

c.h.e.f andy

Ingredients –

  • 250g mascarpone cheese
  • 3 eggs separate into egg yolks & whites
  • 16 finger savoiardi biscuits
  • 200ml expresso
  • 4 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • default 2 tablespoon brandy (sometimes i use 4 tbsp or 60ml for some of my friends who love more brandy, haha!)^^

Directions –

  1. separate the egg yolks & whites of 3 eggs.
  2. using a hand mixer, whisk the eggs to soft peaks. add 2 tablespoon sugar as you whisk to soft peaks, as chef john of food wishes.com called, the shaving cream consistency.
  3. add 250g mascarpone cheese to the yolks & whisk to get the nice custard. then fold the meringue in 2 batches into the custard.
  4. put 200ml freshly grounded expresso in a flat dish & add 1.5 tablespoon of brandy (otard), 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence & 1 teaspoon sugar.
  5. then take the savoiardi finger biscuits & dip them lightly in the expresso & line one layer on the glass dish. add1/2 the custard then another layer of finger biscuits & the custard again. finish off by dusting cocoa powder through a sieve & then using a large knife scrap chocolate flakes from the back of a chocolate bar & add to the cake. then i leave it in the fridge overnight.

Afternoon Tea @ Nassim Hill Bakery on 6Apr2014

corn beef hot reuben sandwich

corn beef hot reuben sandwich

daughter wanted to try nassim hill bakery for afternoon tea. we bought stamps at the tanglin post office next door a month back but did not try out this place.

all day breakfast, egg bens, burgers & sandwiches & hip cafes do not hold any particular attraction for me though i do agree that some are pretty ok & a good departure from the usual stuff i take, and i am quite able to enjoy them if good even if not my preferred. 🙂

the hot reuben was a favourite here. though for me it was more like what else was there to order here? i could just see perhaps a grilled chicken salad or grilled chicken sandwich…pizzas not our favourite, & pasta sorry to think this way but i probably do them better myself. in any case probably wouldn’t order these items in a cafe unless some close friends really vouched for them.

corn beef hot reuben sandwich

carrot soup

carrot soup

nassim hill bakery

nassim hill bakery

turned out that the hot reuben sandwich was really quite good, and quite a good helping for S$18. corn beef (which i always associate with luncheon meat, a favourite to steam on top of the cooked rice in a rice cooker when i was studying abroad 30++years ago) was good & the sauerkraut was not sour & went well with the meat & bread. not something i could finish by myself. we shared among 4pax. 🙂

good thing here was that when you ordered a main, you could order a soup (usual S$6), coffee/tea (usual S$5/S$6) or soft drink (we were not interested) for S$3. so we added a flat white, a mint tea & a soup (carrot soup, above photo) for S$3 for each item.

the ambience was great! parking was limited but we were able to park right outside the cafe on a sunday afternoon. 🙂

apple crumble with vanilla ice cream

apple crumble with vanilla ice cream

flat white

flat white

we added an apple crumble (carrot cake was a favourite here but we look at the cake tray & it did not excite us). this was good – crumb was good, apple was not too sweet, the cake layer was a bit large. reminded me of my jam crumb cake, a recipe i picked up recently rather successfully. 🙂

coffee/flat white was ok, kind of average. the ones we had recently at costa were quite a bit better.

service was a bit sloppy – forgot our soup order completely, and after waited long after we finished the hot reuben & coffee, took another inordinately long time to make right & service recovery, and did not make effort to offer a smile or friendly apology though overall the staff were quite polite but NOT attentive! after soup was finally served, took another long time to serve the apple crumble saying they thought we had canceled the cake (why make such assumptions on behalf of customer? if not, why use it as an excuse? better to just say sorry & make good). i guess it was quite ok, average, could be worse in some places.

the orders for 4pax was S$38nett so it was pretty ok though we ordered not so many items.

maybe once in a while, i might do this with some one who like the ambience & share the pretty ok food. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

 

Jam Crumb Cake

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jam crumb cake

made a very good jam crumb cake yesterday 19.3.2014. 🙂

i not a very dessert person. so far my solitary repertoire has been the chocolate lava cake. i did a lemon lava cake variation & also an apple pie which were pretty ok & i had served them once or twice during my home dinners with friends, but they didn’t quite inspire me.

i am doing a 10pax dinner on 24.3.2014 & was looking up doable online dessert recipes. last november 2013 a friend’s wife did a very good jam cake which i liked for a lovely home fine dining dinner – so inspired i looked up a few recipes and found this jam crumb cake recipe on epicurean.

the first attempt turned out pretty good, anyway i like it enough to post & share. 🙂

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jam crumb cake

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jam crumb cake

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jam crumb cake

i have never baked a whole cake my entire life. the lava cake was the first but those were in muffin tray. i also did the lemon lava cake variation (in muffin tray as well) & the apple pie. that was about it. & i had badly failed couple times attempting macarons. so i did not know what to expect mixing flour & butter & sugar & milk & making the crumbs. anyway i followed the recipe mostly with some adjustment (like reducing the sugar & the recipe for the crumbs taking in the feedback from comments of others who had attempted the recipe).

the jam crumb cake came up beautifully, by my lowly standard anyway. the flavour & texture were great & not too sweet, and the cinnamon did the magic. I would increase the crumbs a little for my next cake & also swirl in more jam. otherwise everything was near perfect.

my adapted recipe is below. 🙂

c.h.e.f. andy

Ingredients-

For cake

  1. 1 cup all-purpose flour
  2. 1/2 cup sugar (to reduce further to 1/3)
  3. 1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
  4. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  5. 3/4 stick unsalted butter, melted (i used about 40g)
  6. 1/2 cup milk
  7. 1 large egg
  8. 1/2 cup raspberry jam or preserves (i used not enough, need to add more)

For crumb topping

  1. 25g unsalted butter, melted
  2. 2 tbsp brown sugar
  3. 1 tsp cinnamon
  4. 1/8 teaspoon salt
  5. 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (will increase to 2/3 cup)
  6. preparation

Directions –

Make cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F (205°C). Generously butter a 9-inch square or round cake pan.
  2. Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, milk and salt.
  3. Whisk together melted butter and egg in a large bowl, then whisk into flour mixture until just combined. Pour batter into cake pan. Dollop jam all over surface, then swirl into batter with spoon.

Make crumb topping:

  1. Whisk together butter, sugar, cinnamon, and salt until smooth. Stir in flour, then blend with your fingertips until incorporated. Sprinkle crumbs in large clumps over top of cake.
  2. Bake cake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean and sides begin to pull away from pan, about 25 minutes. Cool in pan on a rack 5 minutes.