Friday, September 12, 2014

Easy Apple Galette

I had a bunch of apples at home and running out of fridge space to keep them.  Ended up making this easy apple galette to get rid of some of them.   Other than the pastry that needs a recipe, the filling is simply by estimation.  

I used flan pastry for this galette because it is the easiest and less fragile.

What you need:

Flan Pastry (adapted from Michel Roux Pastry)
250g pastry flour (original using plain flour)
125g butter, diced and slightly soften
1 egg
1 tsp caster sugar
1/2 tsp fine salt
40ml ice water

1. Pour flour into a big bowl and make a well
2. Put butter, egg, sugar and salt in the middle, mix and cream the ingredients with you finger tips till it become like breadcrumbs
3. Add cold water and mix it until dough begins to hold together
4. Using palm of your hand, push the dough away 4 or 5 times until it is smooth
5. Roll pastry into a ball, cling wrap it and refrigerate at least 30mins or until ready to use

Apple Filling
3 medium size apples, skin removed and sliced
1/4 cup brown sugar (adjust accordingly to your liking)
1.5 tsp ground cinnamon (adjust accordingly)
some butter

1. Mix everything except butter and put it aside

What you do:

1. Roll the pastry to about 0.5cm or thinner
2. Pour the filling in the centre of the rolled pastry
3. Cut butter into small pieces and put on top of the filling
4. Fold the edges and brush it with egg whites if you want
5. Bake in the 180C preheated oven until the edges turn golden brown
6. Once slightly cool, sprinkle with confectionary sugar and serve warm on it's own or with ice-cream or cream

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Moroccan Egg Tagine

This dish is inspired by a dish a colleague had when we had lunch at a restaurant in Sydney.   So took the opportunity to test my new tagine, I just had to make it for dinner a few days ago.  We had it with rotis/chapatis instead of a crusty bread which is in fact a better choice.  This is an easy dish that can be prepared in 30mins.  

What you need:
1 large onion, sliced
3 small clove garlic, chopped
14oz diced tomato (canned)
2 tsp hawaij spice (optional)
1 Tbsp harissa (optional for extra spice)
salt to taste
1 Tbsp raw sugar/brown sugar
some sausages
2 eggs
Olive oil
chopped parsley for garnishing

What you do:
1. Heat the tagine/pot/pan and pour some oil
2. Throw in sliced onion, once the onions sweat, add chopped garlic and stir till lightly browned
3. Pour in diced tomato with the liquid
4. Add harissa, spice, stir the mixture
5. Add sugar and salt to taste and let the sauce simmer, add abit of water if it looks dry
6. Add the suasages, cover the tagine and continue simmer for about 5-10mins
7. Add a bit water if gets too dry, the pour the eggs, 1 at a time and cover the tagine again for about 5 mins or till the egg white turns opaque
8. Turn off the heat and sprinkle with EVOO and parsley and serve


Thursday, June 26, 2014

Skillet Smores

Small treat for the girls over the weekend with my stash of dark chocolate in the refrigerator.  Got this idea from pinterest (where else :D) and I thought it was cool to have it done for the girls.  So with my medium size skillet, good dark chocolate bars plus some leftover bittersweet chocolate chip cookies, they had a great time munching this after lunch.  I partially melt the chocolate for a bit in the oven before I arranged the marshmallows on top.  Then put it on grill in the oven till the marshmallow turns brown.  We had it with soda crackers instead as we don't have graham crackers easily available here.  The combination is wonderful!  

What you need:
2 bars or more of your favourite chocolate
1 bag marshmallow

What you do:
1. Break the chocolate and heat the skillet in the preheated oven till partially melted
2. Arrange marshmallows on top of the choc
3. Put the skillet back to the oven and let the marshmallow browned, serve with crackers

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Vietnamese Yogurt (drink)

I make my own yogurt at home using my yogurt maker and cultured powder, once a few weeks. They are usually made with low and full fat milk and quite recently with coconut milk.  I usually eat it on its own or use it for my bakes and cooking.  A few days ago, I chanced upon a recipe of a vietnamese yogurt that uses sweetened condensed milk.  Very interesting I should say and that made me wanted to try. The recipe I chose uses yogurt as a starter, curious with the taste, I made it 2 days ago.  Unfortunately my low-fat yogurt is not potent enough to firm up the yogurt nicely but I really do like the taste.  Instead, I have myself a yogurt drink that tastes very much like Yakult *yummy*

Next time I will use the powder instead and replace some of the water with full cream milk.

I used my yogurt maker for this, but you can use your oven to set the yogurt.  Best to do it at night so that it will be ready by the next morning.  Recipe follows:

What you need:
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 can boiling water (use the same can of the condensed milk)
1 can room temperature water (use the same can of the condensed milk, original recipe uses 2 cans)
1/2 cup yogurt (store bought is fine)

What you do:
1. Pour condensed milk into a bowl, add boiling water and stir the mixture
2. Add room temperature water and stir till well blended and let the mixture cool a little bit (you do not want it to be too hot when adding the yogurt as it will kill the bacteria and your yogurt will not set)
3. Add yogurt and stir
4. If you are using a yogurt maker, pour mixture into your yogurt maker and let it set in the maker till it sets
5. If you are using the oven, preheat the oven to 75C then turn it off the heat
6. Pour the yogurt into small containers and place them in the oven with the light on overnight.
7. Yogurt is ready for consumption the next day.  Keep some yogurt to be used as a starter for the next batch

Happy trying !

Monday, June 09, 2014

Random: My coffee corner

Just some random entry which is not food related :)  I always enjoy a good cup of coffee and feels that it would be a shame to hide this cute pixie in the kitchen.  So I decided to dedicate a small corner of my flat for my coffee machine so that I can serve my guests with good quality coffee.  Nothing fancy really, just that I got a good friend to do one framework for me to hang above the coffee cart as it was pretty bare.  So yesterday I got my father-in-law to drill my wall so that I can hang this up... Cosy isn't it?

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Juicy Lucy Cheeseburger

One of those weekends when you do not know what to prepare for lunch.  Then the hubby requested for a burger after he saw a photo of the juicy lucy burger done by his cousin. So since I am in the mood to be busy, I made this for lunch. Mince the meat using my grinder and baked the burger buns - everything from scratch .. well almost everything :)
You know I always go for easy recipe and this is easy. Very minimal seasoning required. 

This is how we had it, with potatoes and sweet potato chips.

Here is the link to the recipe I used for the patty.

What you need:
1 kg ground beef, chilled
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp garlic powder
150g a mix of cheddar and mozarella cheese cut into 1cm cubes
kosher salt
ground black pepper

What you do:
1. Place beef, Worcestershire sauce, garlic salt, and pepper in a bowl; mix well, portion into eight (size of lemon)
2. Flatten the the beef and stuffed the cheese into the patty
3. Preheat a cast-iron skillet or heavy-bottomed pan to medium heat
4. Cook burgers over heat 3 to 4 minutes on first side (Burger may puff up due to steam from melting cheese. This is normal. Do not be alarmed)
5. Flip, and using toothpick, prick top of burger to allow for steam escape. Allow burger to cook 3 to 4 minutes on this side.
6. Remove patties from pan or grill, place them on the burger bun, add some condiments on, and ready to be eaten

Enjoy !

Quick Rise Yeasted Rolls

I was thinking of baking bread but not in the mood to do something that takes hours. So tried this recipe because of the rave reviews. It also doesn't use huge amount of yeast considering this is a quick rise roll. Verdict: really good. Soft and delicious.

I made minor changes. Refer to the link for the original recipe. Mix the dough till slightly stretchy before the first rest. No need to knead. The dough I got was soft but manageable.  This rolls also keep well, they still stay soft the next day.

Quick Rise Yeasted Rolls
What you need:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons raw sugar
1 cup hot water
7g instant yeast
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

What you do:
1. Preheat oven to 220 degrees C
2. In a large bowl, mix the oil, sugar, and hot water
3. Allow to cool until lukewarm, and mix in the yeast until dissolved
4. Mix in the egg, salt, and flour, allow the dough to rise until doubled in size.
5. Divide the dough into the prepared muffin cups or tray, and allow to rise again until doubled in size.
6. Bake for 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a knife inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean.

Double Chocolate Banana Muffin

I had some overriped bananas in the refrigerator that was calling me.  Need to clear them and I was thinking of something chocolaty. After checking the internet, I ended up with this. Recipe is taken of a magazine and not only it was easy, but they came out delicious. I have made some modification to the flour but I would encourage you to try the original recipe

Double Chocolate Banana Muffin

What you need:
1 1/2 cup plain flour (I used white whole wheat)
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cup mashed bananas
1 large egg
1/3 cup oil/melted butter
1 cup chocolate chips
*1/4 cup milk (this is not in the original recipe. I added because my batter was really dry due to the flour I used)

What you do:
1. In a large bowl, sift and combine all the dry ingredients
2. In a small bowl, combine bananas, oil and egg and stir into dry ingredients until moistened. Add milk if batter is really dry. Fold in chips 
3. Fill paper lined muffin cups 3/4 full

4. Baked at 170C for 20-25 mins or until toothpick inserted near the centre comes out clean

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Fish Tagine

This is the new addition to my collection of kitchen utensil/appliances which I purchased end of last year.   I have been wanting to get hold of one for the longest time but was not prepared to pay for the hefty price tag. I did find a brand that fits my budget and was planning to get it during the departmental store's sale.  Before that could happened, I had to go to Sydney for a training and during my 2 weeks stint there, I made time to shop a bit and to be delight, I saw this tagine selling at a really unbelievable price.  I got this for less than SG100 and it can be used over the stove, oven and microwave oven too *big grin*

So the very first dish I made with this is fish tagine, a simple recipe I got off the internet.  Here is the outcome of the dish (before and after pic).

I will update recipe soon.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Chocolate Banana Cake

This is my other half's favourite cake and he will always, like always requests for this for his birthday without fail.  So every year, I will bake this at least once just for him.  This cake can be a bit tedious if you are not used to it because you need to first bake the chocolate sponge, prepare the filling and then the chocolate glaze.   However, it is worth all the time and do not be stingy on the bananas.  

This is another small one I did with a bit of easy decoration to hide the not so perfect bottom ^_^

The frosty whip cream powder that I used

Chocolate Sponge:
( A ) 
30g cocoa powder
½ C hot water

( B )
4 yolks
65g fine sugar
130g self raising flour 
1/2 tsp baking powder 
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup oil
1 tsp vanilla essence

( C)
4 egg whites 
100g fine sugar 

1. Dissolve cocoa powder in hot water and set aside.
2. In a mixing bowl add in egg yolks, oil, sugar and whisk them till lemony in colour
3. Add all the dry ingredients and melted cocoa powder and mix till well blended
4. In another bowl beat egg whites and sugar until soft peaks
5. Add egg white into (3) in 3 parts and gently mix till you do not see any streaks
6. Bake in 9" round tin at 180 C fro 40 munutes
7. Invert the tin immediately onto a wire rack after removing from the oven

Filling for the Cake:
( A )
350g non-dairy whip cream powder (I used Frosty Whip cream powder but you use whichever powder whipping cream that you can get at the supermarket or baking supplies store)
1 C fresh/UHT milk 
1 tsp vanilla essence 

( B )
55g cocoa powder
45 g icing sugar

( C )
2T espresso

( D )
1 T gelatin
¼ C hot water
Soak gelatin in hot water and stir till dissolve.  Heat it a bit if it is not dissolving enough or well then put it aside till ready to use.

1. Sift (B) and put aside
2. Whip (A) till well mix then slowly add in (1)
3. Then add (C) followed by (D) and whip till stiff and you do not see any streaks
4. Refrigerate till you are ready to use it

* Frosting:
1/3 C cocoa powder, sifted
120g cream 
45g fine sugar 
60g butter
1 T oil

Enough ripe bananas (about 10 or more depending on size) and halved them lengthwise

1. Heat cream over double boiler and then add cocoa powder, sugar and mix till sugar dissolves and mixture is well blended
2. Remove from fire and add in oil and butter, stir till both are incorporated nicely into the mixture
3. Leave it aside to let it thickened before using.  

* It is recommended that you make this earlier so that the frosting will thicken nicely and it will be easy to glaze the cake

1. Slice cake into 3 layers
3. Sandwich each layer with filling and bananas
4. Coat the whole cake with filling and chill in the fridge to firm up the filling 
5. Once the filling is firm up, pour the frosting on top of cake and let it flow down using the spatula to smoothen it
6. Smooth the side of the cake and decorate as needed 
7.Chill it again before serving
Slice cake into 3 layers. Sandwich each layer with filling & banana. Lastly coat the whole cake with filling & chill in the fridge to firm up the filling . Lastly pour the frosting on top of cake & let it flow down. Smooth the side of the cake.
I did not follow the exact recipe from the book. I altered it to suit my son and his friends taste. They want the cake slightly sweeter. That's why you see the alteration in the brackets

As for the ** 350 g Non-diary whip cream for the filling, you MUST use the type that have to add liquid before whipping. I use Hanan's Whip Deelite Base. The recipe book did not specify and many people end up with very watery filling. The filling should be very thick and spreadable.
It happened to me when I made the cake the second time. I din know the difference and end up with watery filling. I save the filling by adding cornflour and more gelatin and cook it over a double boiler. It will still be good but the filling will lose volume and be much darker.
Slice cake into 3 layers. Sandwich each layer with filling & banana. Lastly coat the whole cake with filling & chill in the fridge to firm up the filling . Lastly pour the frosting on top of cake & let it flow down. Smooth the side

I did not follow the exact recipe from the book. I altered it to suit my son and his friends taste. They want the cake slightly sweeter. That's why you see the alteration in the brackets

As for the ** 350 g Non-diary whip cream for the filling, you MUST use the type that have to add liquid before whipping. I use Hanan's Whip Deelite Base. The recipe book did not specify and many people end up with very watery filling. The filling should be very thick and spreadable.
It happened to me when I made the cake the second time. I din know the difference and end up with watery filling. I save the filling by adding cornflour and more gelatin and cook it over a double boiler. It will still be good but the filling will lose volume and be much dar

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Wok-baked Easy Banana Cake

I have been trying to bake easy cakes using the wok after watching a demo done by the saleslady when I purchased the wok she was selling.  You might think that it will have a steamed cake texture but surprising it doesn't.   However the top will not brown as much like the sides and bottom.  Controlling the fire is the key to get a nice bake, yes I have burnt a couple when the tried it the first few times.   So as practice is important :)

So I finally got my hands to work again using the wok.  With the balance bananas that I have in the fridge and using my food processor, this is what I got.   You can use a blender if you do not own a food processor. Very convenient and easy.

What you need:
2 cups self raising flour,sifted
1 cup sugar
4-5 medium banana
2 eggs
1/2 cup oil or melted butter
Vanilla essence

What you do:
1. Blend eggs and sugar till almost double in volume
2. Add banana and pulse till blended
3.Add the flour, pulse a few times till flour is incorporated into the egg mixture
4. Lastly add the oil and pulse till well blended
5. Pour into a greased and floured bundt pan
6. Put it into the pre-heatead wok (preheat at high for about 15mins with cover on) lower the fire to low or low medium and let it cooked for 20-25 mins making sure you check every 10 or 15 mins
7. Once the top is not sticky and skewer comes out clean, turn off the fire and leave it for about 5 mins before you take the pan out
8. You can serve it as it is or drizzle with melted chocolate or icing of your choice.

Happy trying !

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Chocolate sponge with cream cake

I made this cake for my youngest daughter's 7th birthday last November as she requested for a simple cake for her birthday.  Initially she wanted to share it with her friends but changed her mind at the last minute.  Her sisters and herself got to enjoy this cake all by themselves :)

This is pretty much a versatile cake. I chose to use peaches because my kids love them.   The recipe is adapted from the book 'Dessert's Tempation, Wendy's Delights'.  I would recommend that you use a very good quality cocoa powder.

What you need:
20gm cocoa powder
60ml hot water

100g superfine flour/cake flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
40g caster sugar

30g melted butter/oil
4 yolks
30ml milk

4 whites
40g caster sugar
1/6 tsp cream of tartar (optional)

1 can peaches, strain and keep the syrup
150g whipping cream (more if needed), whipped till stiff

What you do:
1.Mix cocoa powder and water until mixture turns into paste like
2.Sift flour and baking powder together then add sugar, mix well
3.Pour melted butter, yolks, milk and cocoa mixture into dry ingredients and stir with a whisk
4.Beat egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar until stiff peaks form.
5.Add half of egg white at a time to (3), fold gently after each addition
6. Pour batter into a greased 8 inch cake tin and bake at 180C for 30-35mins

To assemble
1. Cut cake horizontally into 3 layers
2. Brush layer with the syrup
3. Spread cream on each layer and arrange peaches on top.
4. Place another layer and repeat (3) until the last layer, cover the whole cake with the balance cream
5. Decorate accordingly

Chill before serving.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Oreo Mini Donut

So I bought a 7-hole donut maker last year and kept it in the storeroom for a couple of months before I decided to use it recently.  This is one of the makers that I have bought and I still have another one which I have yet to open and try :-P

Anyways, since i got bitten by the baking bug BUT a tad bit lazy to use the oven, I took the opportunity to use this instead.  So this is how it looks.  I can honestly say that I really like this gadget.  Great to prepare fuss-free snack for the kids.  

I bought a mini-donut book recently 'Mini Donuts' by Jessica Seggara.  I would say the recipes are pretty good and simple to make.  The first recipe I tried was this Oreo Donut.

You can see the naked donuts and after the makeover.  The kids love them and with the fact that it is bite-size, it was easy for them to pop it into their mouth :-D.

What you need:
1 1/3 C all purpose flour
1/2 C cocoa powder (use good quality cocoa powder)
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 C sugar
1/4 C yogurt (original uses sour cream)
1/2 C milk
1 large egg
3 Tbsp vegetable oil or melted butter
1 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 C powdered sugar, sifted
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 Tbsp heavy cream
some chopped oreos

What you do:
1. Whisk egg and sugar till fluffy, add the other wet ingredients except milk and mix them till well blended
2. Sift all the dry ingredients and add into (1) alternate with milk ending with dry ingredients
3. Mix till there are no lumps
4. Preheat the donut maker and fill the indentations 3/4 full and bake according to the manufacturer's instruction

1. Mix all the ingredients till you get a thick consistency.  If mixture is too thick, add additional milk/cream 1 tsp at a time till you get the consistency to your liking
2. Dip each donut into the frosting and sprinkle some chopped oreos.  Let the frosting set before serving

Enjoy !

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Italian style pizza

The hubby and kids are pizza 'monsters'.  One of the ways to get them do what I want is to make pizzas for them. We like thin crust pizzas and fortunately we are not really into American style pizzas.  The girls favourite is hawaiian and magherita and mine is anything simple especially mushroom and onion.   Having said that, i have tried numerous pizza crust recipe and found an absolute favourite by husband and wife duo, Gabriele Corcos and Debi Mazar from Extra Virgin show.

Here, I used tipo 00 flour meant for pizzas which you can purchase from Phoon Huat here in Singapore.  If you don't have that, use bread flour.

What you need:
2 1/4 dry active yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water (about 105 to 115 degrees F)
4 cups tipo 00 flour/bread flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup cold water
1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for bowl

What you do:
1. Add yeast, lukewarm water, and 1/2 cup flour into the bowl of a stand mixer . Mix well and let sit until bubbly, about 30 minutes
2. Whisk together the remaining 3 1/2 cups bread flour and salt in another bowl so it will be evenly distributed
3. Once yeast mixture turns bubbly, add 3/4 cup cold water and olive oil. With the dough hook, turn the mixer on and add the flour in increments
4. Mix the dough for about 5 minutes, until the dough starts creeping up the dough hook and comes away from the sides of the bowl.
5. Place the dough in a large bowl lightly greased with olive oil. Turn to coat all sides of the dough with oil. 6. Cover the bowl loosely with a clean tea towel. Let rise until doubled in size, about 2 hours. Punch dough down, and let rise another hour.
6. Divide the dough into 4 equal disks. Lightly flour a work surface. Using your fingers or heels of your hands to stretch the disks out to a 10-inch round.  Alternatively you can use the rolling pin to roll the crust.

Repeat with the remaining 3 pizza dough disks.  

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Minced meat in black bean sauce

I love simple dishes that I can prepare in less than 15 mins and this is one of them.  My kids are still not used to the black bean sauce but I personally like this.  This is great to eat with either plain rice porridge or hot steaming rice.  It is high in protein because it has minced meat and tofu.  

What you need:
250-300g minced chicken
1 tube egg tofu, drained
1 medium size red chilli, chopped (if you want more heat, add 1 or 2 chilli padi)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 Tbsp black bean sauce (bottled which you can purchase from supermarket)
a bunch of green onions/scallion and chinese celery, chopped
a dash of sesame oil
1 tsp cornflour
1 Tbsp oil

What you do:
1. Marinade meat with salt, pepper, sesame oil and cornflour, put it aside
2. Heat wok with oil, stir fry garlic, onion, chilli and black bean sauce 
3. Once it simmers, add minced meat and stir fry till meat is cooked
4. Add tofu and break it into small pieces and mix everything together
5. Let it simmer for about 5 minutes and add salt or light soya sauce if needed
6. Add the chopped scallions and chinese celery, give it a good stir and turn fire off
7. Serve it with steamed rice or rice porridge

Monday, February 17, 2014

Steamed Tofu with Chicken Floss

Hello again !  I am sorry that have not been updating my blog for a long time.  Work and personal matters beckoned me and I was swamped with lots of things to do and left with very little time.  Anyways with 2014, I hope that I can resurrect this site again and get back my mojo to bake/cook and post more :-)

For the first post in 2014, it is a simple dish which I love for its simplicity.  My family has been requesting for more steamed food and I try to make it a point to whip them during the weekends.

This is steamed tofu with chicken floss.  There are many versions out there but I like it simple and decided to stick to the basics.  You can use the steamer or microwave for this dish.  I prefer the steamer as I don't want to accidentally overcook it.

What you need:
1 tub soft tofu
Meat floss of any kind
1 Tbsp light soya sauce
dash of sesame oil

What you do:
1. Get your steamer ready
2. Place tofu on a heat resistance plate
3. Pour the soya sauce and sesame oil over the tofu and sprinkle the floss
4. Steam the tofu for about 5mins
5. Serve it hot with steamed rice

Note:  you can also sprinkle green onions or add oyster sauce, whatever to your liking for this.