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.