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Friday, October 18, 2013

Bakers, I Salute You

I fasted last Monday on the Day of Arafah. And usually when I am hungry, for some weird reason, I would stare at pictures of food for hours. So there I was, lying on my bed with my phone and searching for #beststeakever and #cheesecakefactory on Instagram.

Pure torture I tell you.

Then I stumbled upon a picture of this:

Oh. My. God. I NEED THAT!!!

I straightaway searched for online bakers who would take an order for this for me to pick up the next day but who was I kidding? Everyone was back to their hometown for Raya Haji.

Maybe it was the hunger from fasting, I just could not let this go. Come to think of it, this dessert actually looks pretty easy to make. I mean, basically you just have to assemble a few ingredients in a jar. How hard can that be right?

So I googled the recipe and I found it!


  • 3 1/2 cups chilled heavy whipping cream, divided
  • 12 ounces high-quality white chocolate (such as Lindt or Perugina), chopped
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons almond extract, divided
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 7 ounces Boudoirs or Champagne biscuits (crisp ladyfinger cookies),* divided
  • 1 cup raspberry jam, melted, divided
  • 1 1/2 12-ounce packages frozen unsweetened raspberries, partially thawed, divided
  • 2 6-ounce containers fresh raspberries
  • 3/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted


Bring 1 cup cream to simmer in medium saucepan. Remove from heat. Add white chocolate; whisk until smooth. Cool to barely lukewarm, about 10 minutes. Beat 2 1/2 cups cream and 1/2 teaspoon extract in large bowl to soft peaks. Fold in white chocolate mixture.
Stir sugar and 1/2 cup water in small saucepan over medium heat until sugar melts. Mix in 3/4 teaspoon extract; remove syrup from heat. Quickly submerge 1 biscuit in syrup; shake excess back into pan. Place dipped biscuit in bottom of 14-cup trifle dish. Repeat with enough biscuits to cover bottom of dish.
Spread 1/3 of melted jam over biscuits in dish. Top with 1/3 of partially thawed berries with juices. Spread 1/3 of whipped chocolate cream over. Repeat layering with dipped biscuits, melted jam, partially thawed berries, and whipped chocolate cream 2 more times. Mound fresh berries in center of trifle. Sprinkle almonds around edge. Cover and chill at least 5 hours and up to 24 hours.

Hmm, seems doable.

So off I went to the supermarket.

The recipe calls for heavy whipping cream which is confusing because all they say on the box is whipping cream/cooking cream so I googled and found out that heavy cream contains at least 36% of milk fat I bet you didn't know that too! Hehe.

After I got home from a wedding that night, I dragged my youngest sister to help me out.

The ingredients

First, I grated some chocolates to make chocolate shavings. It's not in the recipe, I was just feeling a little bit creative.

I used this thing. Dunno what it's called.


Next, making the white chocolate mixture.

White chocolate mixture mixed with the whipped cream

It didn't look quite right though. I thought it was supposed to be less liquid

We moved on anyway.

Next, we proceeded to make caramelised almonds. The recipe only requires almond flakes but I am a sucker of caramelised almonds and I think that the dessert would be absolutely divine with them.

The best part is, it is super easy to make. You only need almonds, butter and brown sugar. And all you have to do is melt 4 tablespoons of salted butter, add in 2 cups of almonds (or any nuts of your choice) and then add 4 tablespoons of brown sugar. Stir until it caramelises.

Easy peasy!

We had 1 cup of almonds so I had to cut down the other ingredients in half. So I melted 2 tablespoons of  butter and  then added the 1 cup of almonds while my sister stirred. Then I confidently added 1 cup of brown sugar into the pan, and halfway through pouring the 2nd cup of brown sugar, my sister said:

"Whoa, so much sugar!"

I said, "Yeah. Actually the recipe requires 4 tablesp----"

Then something clicked in me.

Oh shit.

4 tablespoons of brown sugar!!! Not 4 cups!!

I was supposed to reduce it to 2 tablespoons but I already poured in 1 and a half cups.


We started freaking out. I added more butter. Don't ask me why.

We ended up with this:

We stopped panicking because it looked kinda right and it smelled heavenly. My sister continued stirring.

There was another problem though. The recipe said to continue stirring until it caramelises. How do we know? What is it supposed to look like? I should have youtube-ed it but no time for that. So I told my sister to keep stirring.

And then in a split second, the whole mixture started to darken really fast. It was starting to burn.

We quickly took it off the stove and poured it onto a baking tray (we were supposed to pour it on a wax paper but we didn't have any) and we ended up with this:


Our caramelised almonds have become burnt almond brittle. Sigh. How did things get so wrong so fast?? Stupid recipe. They should have specified how long we were supposed to stir. Not say something vague like 'until it caramelises'. 

Trying to make the almonds cool down faster

The caramelised almonds started to harden. Since there were too much caramel (from the excess of butter and brown sugar), the whole big piece was stuck to the tray. We had to get my brother to help us scrape it off using a spoon. 

Used my hand as a cover because pieces of almonds were flying everywhere.

The aftermath

We ended up with small squares of caramelised almonds. We needed them to be in really small pieces so that we could sprinkle them over the dessert. Since the almonds were rock hard, I figured the only way to break them into small pieces was by using this:

Lesung batu

I felt bad for our maid. Her room is just next to the kitchen. And there we were banging away at 12.40am.

It worked! Ha! 

Finally, time to assemble everything and be done with it.

I was so excited because this jar (borrowed from my moksu) is almost exactly like the one in the picture that i found.

Okay. First layer: Biscuits. Second layer: Jam and strawberries.

Used up half of the biscuits and strawberries that we had and it was still at the bottom of the jar. There was no way we had enough ingredients to reach the top. Sigh.

My sister suggested that we use a smaller bowl. I was reluctant because the other bowl is not as nice and it has lines around it people won't be able to see the gorgeous layers (wishful thinking) of my dessert.

Suddenly my brother said, "Did you know that moksu used this bowl as an aquarium last time? The fish died in it."

That was the deal-breaker.

Transferred the ingredients into a smaller, less attractive bowl.

My other sister joined us. I guess she must have heard the commotion that we were causing in the kitchen.

Layering process continued.

White chocolate cream

Chocolate curls

Caramelised almonds

Biscuits again

Jam and strawberries

Supposed to be almonds first then white chocolate but I was so confused already at that point.

Final layer of white chocolate, then sprinkle with chocolate shavings

Raspberries for garnishing

Top view

Side view. Gorgeous layers la sangat. 

Added more chocolate shavings.

We shoved it into the fridge and went to bed.

8 hours later. 

Despite the disastrous attempt and the fact that it looked nothing like the picture that I found, it still received positive reviews from the family and it was wiped clean by the end of the day.

Will I bake again?

Errr probably not.


  1. the lesung batu & the aquarium part tu lawak gila! hahahahahaha!
    anyways desert tu still nampak sedap & cantek! ;D

    1. Hahahaha merepek je kitorg kan. Thank you!

  2. hahahaha. this is hilarious, tia. really. i can't even stop laughing. rofl!

  3. mayb if u put biscuits n berries bykbyk kt tepi bole nmpk gorgeous layers kot..
    waytogo Tia!dun stop baking please.

    1. Yes you are right! I tried doing it for the 2nd time and it was so pretty! I actually love baking now =D

  4. mayb if u put biscuits n berries bykbyk kt tepi bole nmpk gorgeous layers kot..
    waytogo Tia!dun stop baking please.

  5. Wow a great idea for my wedding sweet treat corner!

    1. If you do it in mini jars pun madam lawa je. Good luck with the wedding!

  6. Hi Tia,

    I've been stalking you a while. Beauty with brain and you have a beautiful family.
    I selalu baca blog you and most of them really made my day. Hahaha... the funniest part are the banging one, bowl, and when you said you get confused!