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
crackers

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.

http://www.food.com/recipe/jucy-lucy-cheeseburger-383042

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.

http://m.allrecipes.com/recipe/13827/quick-yeast-rolls

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 www.frostyboy.com.au

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

Assembly
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
Assembly
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.
Assembly
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 !