Friday, October 15, 2010

Study+study+study = going crazy

First HSC exam today! *gasp*

Okayokay- so maybe it's not such a big deal =) I didn't start studying last night (for once) and so I got some sleep. Although my mum accidently turned on my electric blanket (on high might I add) in the morning when she was changing my sheets, meaning that I spent half the night being fried on my bed instead of sleeping! Don't worry, I turned around occasionally to make sure that I seared evenly =)

But even spending half the night awake, I didn't think any exam thoughts. It was strangely.....normal. No 'what if' thoughts, no 'I'm going to fail' or even trying to go through my essay at all. I think I'm skilfully mastering the art of blocking out bad thoughts from my head!

I can happily forget my no-so-pleasing marks that I might have gotten a few weeks ago. I can easily forget that there's a HSC to study for- until I return to my desk and see a pile of books waiting to be studied. In fact, the only thing I really think about now is what I'm going to do after the exams- all the food I'm going to cook, all the places I'm going to eat at, all the blogging I'll do.

I don't want to talk much about school because this blog is mostly for happy things. Study makes me sad sad sad........=( (*gasp* repetition! sibiliance! *puke*) But because I'll have to go back to studying soon (and start on my essays *sigh*), I'll keep this one short. But if you don't see me around on this blog for a couple of weeks you'll know why =) But knowing me, I won't be able to resist not blogging!

And because studying is messing up my brain, I'll go a little crazy in this post and blog about three things rather than one. Okayokay, enough about the study- onto the happier things- food!

Soda Cream Crackers from agesssssss ago

These soda cream crackers were like an impulse-bake. I saw them on Wendy's blog one moment (recipe here)and before i knew it, I had a batch in the oven =) I made then into small shapes like I saw in the original recipe because I thought they were cute, although this made it really time consuming- especially with all the fork marks! I used thickened cream instead of whipping cream because it was what I had in the fridge, so the dough ended up a lot tougher (I was scared to add too much milk- don't know why- it's silly, I know) and the layers didn't come out nearly as defined as Wendy's. Nevermind. I'll just have to bake these again. After the HSC.

And then there were these donut muffins.

I've got plans to make proper donuts sometime in the future but meanwhile, I thought I'd try these donut muffins to satisfy my (sister's) donut cravings. They're a lot easier to make than donuts- just mix all the ingredients together and bake!! The method looked rather much like the method of making normal muffins so I wasn't quite sure how these would turn out....

Sure enough, they turned out having the texture of a donut (a cakey one), but wasn't nearly as light and soft as fresh donuts. They were pretty yummy and donuty fresh out of the oven but hardened considerably the next day and became a little chewy too. I tried the sugar and cinnamon coating but it either fell off the muffins or melted onto them so I coated them in oil (instead of melted butter) and then dunked them in the cinnamon sugar muxture but that made them all oily so I used ganache for the rest of them. Chocolate seems to be able to fix everything =) I'll post the recipe later although it's probably not worth it....

For something a little more successful. And very very delicious =)

I've always wanted to make these coconut tarts- the types you get at Asian bakeries. They taste great both hot and cold, but they're terribly hard to resist when they've come straight out of the oven-sorta like chinese egg tarts (not in the taste though)! Only these are a lot easier as there's no puff pastry involved, and they're a lot more forgiving- if you accidently leave them in the oven for too long. And because they're coconutty, they're bound to be a hit within our family!

I baked these in my electric oven since they were so small. I no longer like my electric oven. It doesn't bake things evenly =(

Coconut Tart
Recipe from Angie's Recipes- thankyou Angie!

180 g All-purpose flour
35 g Icing sugar
1 small Egg
10 g Custard powder
90 g Butter, chilled

100 g Grated coconut
40 g Butter, melted
40-45 g Sugar
1 large Egg
2 tbsp Condensed milk
2 tbsp Water

1. Sift flour, icing sugar and custard powder together into a mixing bowl.

2. Rub in butter, using paddle of mixer or by hand, until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add in egg. Mix until the pastry begins to form large lumps. Press together gently with your fingers to form the pastry into a ball.

3. Chill pastry dough for about 30 minutes. In a bowl, mix all ingredients for the filling. Set aside.

4. Divide pastry into 10 portions (approx. 35 g each). Press pastry evenly into tart mould. Trim the edges to remove excessive dough. Prick base of each tart with a fork. Fill tarts with filling to about 90% full.

5. Bake in a preheated oven at 180C/355F - 200C/330F for 30-35 minutes until pastry is cooked thoroughly. Leave the tarts in moulds for 5 minutes before turning onto wire rack to cool.

P.S Does my blog take ages to load?? Because it does on my computer- I'm not sure if it's just me =(
EDIT: Problem fixed....I think =)


esther said...

I can totally understand how you're feeling right now! I hope you get a great score, and I'm sure you'll do fine. It's actually midnight where I'm living and whewf... I still have homework. I should go to sleep, but I'm not. And all three of your goodies look great! Can't wait until you're free to see what else you will bake up.

Lynn said...

Totally agree with you about the whole studying thing. I have a huge test (actually two or three) coming up and I'm so tired of studying! At least baking is my stress reliever :)
Your coconut tarts look amazing!

Kristy Sayer-Jones @ Southern In Law said...

Studying is so mind numbingly boring! Luckily I have a really good memory, so I've never really needed to hardcore study like other people (6+ hours a day? WHAT?!)
So far, i'm 2 exams down and they've been way easier than expected - phew!

Good luck with all your exams! :D

Unknown said...

omg! i could smell this from here! :D

j3ss kitch3n said...

your tarts looks yummy von! and good luck for your exams!!! and yes your blog does take awhile to load but i'm sure it's just the traffic ya.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Aww best of luck with the HSC Von! I'm sure you'll do us all proud! :D I admit I hated studying myself! :P

grub said...

sorry for the late comment! i REALLY LIKE the coconut tart photos :D haha you make me crave for them now ;)

my cousin told me HSC started earlier this week! all the best and good luck!! :D

Chocolate Shavings said...

Looks delicious and I love the color on the top of the tart!

OohLookBel said...

Good luck with the exams, though it's never as bad as you expect (trying to be optimistic here!).
Please concentrate on your studies for now and we look forward to reading updates on your lovely blog soon =)

marla {family fresh cooking} said...

These coconut tarts so look amazing & yes you are very lucky to have that teenage metabolism so you can enjoy lots at once! Great pics.

A Canadian Foodie said...

Good luck on your exams. I am sure you are a straight A student because you WORRY too much... but, study, and then rest and then study and then exercise... you know the drill. It is only 2 weeks. ( :) )

Faith said...

I understand how you feel.. Going through law school wasn't very fun since it takes a lot of time studying and preparing. I am sure you'll do great on your exams! Your tart looks great!

Maria @ Scandi Foodie said...

Good luck! I'm sure these delicious cakes will help you on your exams ;-)

My Little Space said...

Hey, don't pressure yourself! Just take it easy and relax, otherwise your brain will became blank! =o( Just try your best and leave the cooking stuffs behind for a while. Be cool! Wishing you all the best, sweetie.
Blessings, Kristy

grace said...

oh, how i hated exam time. the feeling of satisfaction upon completion, though, was always amazing. hang in there, and continue to eat yummy things!

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

Well, it is obvious that food and cooking is your best solution to destress... You beat me to baking Wendy's cream crackers! :) .... All the best to your exams!

MaryMoh said... much wonderful bakes despite all the exams going on!! You sound more like a professional baker than a student :D Have to agree with and baking is more fun than studying, esp exams! :P All the best, Von. I'm sure you will do well!

Cooking Gallery said...

Haha, I can totally understand you! I did my HSC almost 10 years ago (geeeezzz, I am really getting old here ;)) and it was stressy! Good luck, you'll be fine :)!

Anna said...

Good luck! Take care of yourself and do your best, that's all you can ask of yourself :)

Two fit and fun gals said...

goodluck in your exams girly! xo

tigerfish said...

Good luck in your exams, sweetie! I will help you by eating your coconut tarts :P

Joudie's Mood Food said...

Good luck with your exams. You seem relaxed which is good. And these picturews are just gorgeous! I love donut muffins. And the coconut.... Well hello! Looks Delish.

Unknown said...

My exams are around the corner too. AndI am so stress about it. I hope you will be doing very well. All the best!

P/s Great blog you have and you can bake well.

I heart My Bakes

Juliana said...

Good luck on your exams...the coconut tart looks when is a little brownish on top...SO yummie!

Viv said...

best of luck with the rest of your exams...will be over soon. in fact in a few years time you'll probably miss having exams and studying. like me...i do miss hitting the books instead of just surfing online and watch tv after work lol. hahhaa sorry ;)
love the coconut tarts and hope you dont get burnt again in yoru sleep!

Emma @CakeMIstress said...

Best of luck with your exams!! I hope you achieve what you want to. Life after exams is the best feeling ever! :)

Anita said...

Best of luck with the HSC!! I hope you have a great holiday afterwards - maybe a mix a relaxation and food :) P.S. the tarts look great.

tori said...

Good luck with the exams- I remember them, they were hideous. I think coffee eclairs were the only things that got me through. Can't wait to see what you produce on the other side.

pigpigscorner said...

That's a lot of yummy treats! How I hate studying. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Soldier on and make more yummy treats!

sensiblecooking said...

Good Luck with HSC, I wish I was cool like during my finals would have done better then what I did. As I was freaking out too much made lot of mistakes. Love the tart. It looks so yummy.

sweetlife said...

good luck with your exams, i am sure you will do well...your tarts look awesome...i love all the pics


SteelCityFlan said...

Von Von Von! Come back, I miss you :( I'm sorry you're so swamped in exams, that must be awful. Well, just remember that you're almost through and it will all be worth it in the end! And when you're done, you can come back to posting beautiful food for all of us to drool over :D

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