• Jun
  • 03
  • 2012

profiteroles

Profiteroles

Profiteroles or also known as cream puffs are not that hard to make but just requires time especially if you have 3 different fillings to make. I’ve made a cream chantilly, vanilla custard and chocolate mousse for this round of batch. And to me, the chocolate mousse wins hands down! I used Nigella Lawson’s Instant Chocolate Mousse recipe as I had no time to chill it overnight and needed something fairly quick, and her recipe is oh-so-yum. I’ll definitely be using it again and pouring them into glass cups to indulge on its own!

Profiteroles

The choux pasty is so soft yet still holds its form and is super light which really compliments the ‘a bit heavy’ chocolate mousse. You can put whatever fillings you want really, some put ice cream and custard with fruits, then top it off with a dusting of icing sugar or chocolate ganache.

Profiteroles

I have come across so many choux pastry recipes and have found the best. Not eggy or hard. The trick is not to use milk but water instead.

RECIPE FOR PROFITEROLES / CREAM PUFFS
Adapted from Graces Sweet Life

Serves: 18
Prep time: 20 mins
Bake time: 25-30 mins
Chill time: 30 mins to an hour (with filling inside)

Ingredients

140 g (1 cup + 2 tbsp) plain (all-purpose) flour
237 ml (1 cup) water
113 g (½ cup) unsalted butter, cut into 16 equal pieces
2 tsp caster sugar
½ tsp salt
4 medium eggs

Method

1. Preheat oven to 220° C.  Line 2 baking sheets with non-stick baking paper.

2. In a medium saucepan bring water, butter, sugar and salt to a boil over medium heat, stirring gently with a wooden spoon.

3. When mixture begins to boil, add sifted flour all at once and stir vigorously until paste reaches pulls away from the sides of the pan and forms a big ball, about 1 minute. Remove from heat.

4. Allow paste to cool, stirring a couple of times, wait 3-5 minutes to cool.

5. Add the eggs one-at-a-time, stirring vigorously after each addition making sure each egg is well incorporated before adding the next.

6. Transfer choux pastry to a large pastry bag fitted with large plain tip (i.e. Wilton 1A). Pipe 4-cm high mounds, spacing 5-cm apart, on prepared baking sheets.

7. To prevent tops from burning, use your finger tip and dip in a little water and then lightly touch the ends of each puff.

8. Immediately place in the oven to bake (water will help to create steam which helps create volume in the puffs while baking). Bake until tops and sides are golden, 25 to 30 minutes.  Turn off oven and allow puffs to rest in the oven for 5 minutes.

9. Remove from oven; poke each puff in the side with a small paring knife to allow steam to escape.  Transfer to wire rack and allow puffs to cool completely before adding the fillings.

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RECIPE FOR  CREAM CHANTILLY
Adapted from Graces Sweet Life with slight modifications

Ingredients

1/2 vanilla essence
300ml thickened cream
1 1/2 tbsp icing sugar, sifted

Method

1. Add the heavy cream, vanilla essence and icing sugar into bowl. Whisk together using an electric mixer/beater until soft peaks form or stiff peaks form

2. Refrigerate until ready to use.
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RECIPE FOR VANILLA CUSTARD
Adapted from Taste with slight modifications ( I halved the recipe)

Ingredients

1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup thickened cream
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
2 egg yolks
1/2 tbsp cornflour
2 1/2 tbsp caster sugar

Method

1. Combine milk, vanilla essence and cream in a small saucepan.  Place over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes or until hot (do not allow to boil). Remove saucepan from heat.

2. Whisk egg yolks, cornflour and sugar in a heatproof bowl until well combined. Pour hot milk mixture over egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly.

3. Return mixture to saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, for 15 to 20 minutes or until custard thickens and coats the back of a metal spoon (do not allow custard to boil, as it might curdle).

4. Leave to cool for about 10 minutes before adding into each profiterole.

__________________________________________________________________________

 RECIPE FOR INSTANT CHOCOLATE MOUSSE
Adapted from Nigella Lawson with slight modifications ( I halved the recipe)

Ingredients

75g mini marshmallows
25g soft butter
125g good dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids), chopped into small pieces
30ml hot water from a recently boiled kettle
1 x 140ml thickened cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (I use 1 tsp essence)

Method

1. Put the marshmallows, butter, chocolate and water in a heavy-based saucepan.

2. Put the saucepan over low-medium heat, to melt the contents, stirring every now and again. Remove from the heat.

3. Meanwhile, whip the cream with the vanilla extract until thick, and then fold into the cooling chocolate mixture until you have a smooth, cohesive mixture.

4. Allow to cool in the frige before adding into each profiterole. Mixture will start to thickened a bit.

 

 

 


  • May
  • 18
  • 2012

oreo cheesecake

I had a packet of Oreo’s from a while back when Coles had them on special for $1, so I thought why not make something a little classy yet cute? I went on a hunt to find the perfect oreo cheesecake recipe and this did me proud!

What I liked about this recipe is that its not too dense or too light. Its just perfect. I love the creaminess and smoothness of the mixture, combined with the biscuit crunch…it certainly makes for a crowd pleasing dessert for the young and old.

 

RECIPE FOR OREO CHEESECAKE
Adapted from Gourmet Getaways with slight modifications

Serves: 12
Prep time: 20 mins
Chill time: 6 hours (min)

Ingredients

Base
80gm butter, melted
250gm Oreo biscuits

Cheesecake
200gm white chocolate
250ml pouring cream (regular unthickened)
375gm Philadelphia Cream Cheese
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/4 cup boiling water
3 tsp gelatine

Top decoration
Whipped cream
12 halved oreo cookies

Method

1. Place the biscuit base ingredients in a food processor and pulse until it reaches a fine breadcrumb stage.

2. Press crumbs into a 12 cupcake base and refrigerate.

3. Combine water and gelatine and stir until fully dissolved.

4. Warm the cream and white chocolate in a double boiler and stir until smooth. Allow to cool until room temp.

5. Combine the cream cheese, vanilla and sugar in a food processor until the mixture is smooth and the sugar is dissolved. Add the white chocolate mixture to the food processor and combine. Pour the gelatin into the food processor and continue to mix the cheesecake filling until smooth.

6. Pour the filling into the prepared biscuit base.

7. In a piping bag, pipe out the whipped cream for the top decoration and finally put an oreo on top. Chill until set for at least 6 hours.

Note: I use cupcake cases first then before serving, take them out and place onto plate.


  • May
  • 03
  • 2012

spaghetti bolognese

 

RECIPE FOR SPAGHETTI BOLOGNESE WITH MINCE BEEF

Serves: 4
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 1.5 hours

Ingredients

400g dried thin spaghetti
500g beef mince
1 large onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 carrots, diced
300g sliced mushrooms (or 400g can sliced champignons)
1 tsp oregano (or to your taste)
4 tbsp thick tomato paste
1 x 425g can peeled tomatoes
3 cups beef stock (i use vegetable stock or just water)
salt and pepper, to taste
3 tbsp olive oil
fresh shaved parmesan and/or powder parmesan to garnish

 

Method

1. Heat olive oil and saute onions and garlic in a medium pot.

2. Add mince beef and stir until evenly brown until lumps are broken.

3. Add carrots, stock/water, mushrooms, oregano, tomato paste and canned tomatoes. Stir for a bit and bring to a boil. Then simmer for 45 minutes until liquid has greatly reduced.

3. Add salt and pepper and stir.

4. Boil spaghetti with a bit of oil and salt, then drain under cold running water.

5. Serve immediately with hot bolognese sauce topped with cheese.


  • Apr
  • 03
  • 2012

grilled chicken with creamy napolitana sauce


grilled chicken with creamy napolitana sauce

One of our family favourite mid week dinner is grilled chicken with creamy napolitana sauce served with steamed vegetables and mash potato. It is a quick and rather healthy dinner and the good thing is, if you make a big pot of the napolitana sauce, you can re-use it with some pasta for next days dinner.

grilled chicken with creamy napolitana sauce1

RECIPE FOR GRILLED CHICKEN WITH CREAMY NAPOLITANA SAUCE

Serves: 2
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 30 mins

Ingredients

1 chicken breast, slice into 4 parts
1 large carrot, cut
1/4 brocolli, cut
coriander (optional), for garnishing

For napolitana sauce:
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, pound in mortar and pestle
2 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 cup chicken stock
150ml thickened cream
salt and pepper, to taste

For mash potato:
1 large potato, quartered and boiled till soft
4 tbsp butter
2 tbsp milk
sprinkle of salt and pepper


Method

1. To make the napolitana sauce. Saute onions and garlic in a saucepan with a bit of oil for a minute or two and then add tomato paste, chicken stock and thickened cream. Bring to boil and leave to simmer to reduce the sauce. Don’t forget to season with salt and pepper.

2. Whilst the napolitana sauce is simmering, boil the carrots and brocolli in one pot and in separate pot, boil the potatoes. Both with a bit of salt. Drain well once soften.

3. Heat up some olive oil in a grill pan and grill the chicken breast for 8-10 minutes turning sides. Make sure it does not overburn/overcook.

3. Mash the potatoes with butter, milk, salt and pepper till creamy and no lumps are seen.

4. Serve grilled chicken on a plate alongside the vegetables, mash potato and finally drizzle over the napolitana sauce and sprinkle with some coriander.


  • Mar
  • 29
  • 2012

scones with strawberry jam and whipped cream

scones

I’m so sorry! I’ve been procrastinating for far too long now. You could blame it on my morning sickness, Alhamdulillah I’m 6+ months pregnant now, and experienced horrible morning sickness till 4+ months.  It took another month or so for me to get back into my cooking/crafting/organising mojo. I’ve got heaps of posts on standby waiting to be published and here is one for today.

scones

Who can resist good’ol traditional baked scones with a bit of jam and whipped cream? I sure can’t! These are mouth watering and perfect for breakkie on the weekends with your loved ones.

RECIPE FOR BASIC SCONES
Adapted from Taste

Serves: 16
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 20-25 minutes

Ingredients

Plain flour, for dusting
3 cups self raising flour
80 gram butter, cubed (at room temperature)
1 to 1 1/4 cups milk
strawberry jam and whipped cream, to serve

 

Method

1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Dust 2 flat baking trays lightly with flour.

2. Then sift the self-raising flour into a large bowl. Using your fingertips, rub butter into flour until mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

3. Make a well in the centre. Add 1 cup of milk. Mix with a flat-bladed knife until mixture forms a soft dough, adding more milk if required. Turn onto a lightly floured surface. Knead gently until smooth (don’t knead dough too much or scones will be tough).

4. Pat dough into a 2cm-thick round. Using a 5cm (diameter) round cutter, cut out 12 rounds. Press dough together and cut out remaining 4 rounds. Place scones onto prepared baking trays, 1cm apart. Sprinkle tops with a little plain flour.

5. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden and well risen. Transfer to a wire rack. Serve warm with strawberry jam and cream.


  • Dec
  • 03
  • 2011

chicken soup and on being sick!

chicken soup

Please accept my apologies for the lack of post over the last couple of weeks, I have been sick, terribly sick- that the thought of food and consuming it, makes it even worst! Hence why I have not updated this blog. But at least I can have some hearty winter soup eventhough its summer here! So if you’ve got a few soup recipes up your sleeves, kindly do share them with me. I’m always on the lookout for more recipes!

RECIPE FOR CHICKEN SOUP WITH CABBAGE
Adapted from my stepmum

Serves: 4
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 1 hour

Ingredients

1 chicken breast, cut into small pieces
50g dried rice vermicelli
4 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup chopped spring onions (to garnish)
3 tbsp fried shallots (to garnish)
2 eggs
1/4 cabbage, shredded thinly
salt and pepper, to taste

Method

1. Bring to a boil the chicken breast pieces in a pot of chicken stock.

2. Add in the cabbage, vermicelli and simmer for 45 minutes.

3. Crack the eggs but do not stir. Leave for 5 minutes before seasoning it with salt and pepper and the other garnishes.

4. Serve immediately while hot.


  • Nov
  • 19
  • 2011

curry laksa version 2

curry laksa

Yet another laksa post from me because I am a fanatic laksa fan. Here is the original post, I posted a few months ago when I first learnt how to make it from scratch-no bottle paste anymore yee-ha! This time, I made a few extra changes.

If you love cooking malaysian food, you most probably have all these ingredients sitting at home in your pantry/fridge. All you have to do is get the fresh stuff like boy choy, bean sprouts etc. The only downside is probably having to toast the belacan (shrimp) which is super smelly-makes-you-want-to-gag, but because I’m all-things-malaysian, I absolutely love the smell! Though, hubby’s orders: please toast them outside. And yes, please do. You do not want your house smelling like off shrimps ;)

 

RECIPE FOR MALAYSIAN CHICKEN CURRY LAKSA
Adapted from Almost Bourdain, with slight modifications

Serves: 6
Prep time: 30 mins
Cook time: 50 mins

Ingredients

For the paste:
20 Asian shallots
10 cloves garlic
10 dried chillies, soaked in warm water for 30mins
3 tsp toasted belacan
3 tbsp dried shrimps, soaked in warm water for 5 mins
6 candlenuts (buah keras)

Other ingredients:
3 tbsp curry powder (I used Baba’s Meat)
1 kg egg noodles (hokkien noodles), blanched
24 shelled prawns, deveined
2 chicken breast, cooked and sliced
2 big bunch of choy sum, cut
3 stalks lemon grass, bruised
2 sprig curry leaves
3 cups chicken stock
3/4 can coconut milk
200 g tofu puffs, halved
300 g bean sprouts, blanched and tail removed
3 hard boiled eggs, halved
1 packet fried fish cakes, sliced thinly
5 tbsp oil
salt to taste
Fried shallots, for garnishing
Spring onions, for garnishing

Method

1. To make the paste: Mix ingredients and pound into a paste using a blender.

2. Heat up oil in a medium sized pot, and stir the prawns for 5 mins until cooked evenly. Remove prawns and set aside.

3. Saute the blended paste, lemon grass, curry powder and curry leaves until the oil separates and is fragrant. This should take about 7 – 10 mins.

3. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil.

4. Reduce heat and leave to simmer for about 20 minutes.

5. Add the coconut cream/milk and bring to a boil again, stirring constantly to prevent it from curdling.

6. Turn of the stove and add tofu puffs, fish cake, choy sum and some salt to taste then give it a final stir to coat all the ingredients.

To serve:  Divide noodles into individual bowls. Pour the hot curry laksa evenly ontop of the noodles into each bowl and then spread the prawns, chicken, eggs and the garnishes. Serve immediately.

Click ‘Read More’ below to print out the recipe and leave a comment.

 

 


  • Nov
  • 17
  • 2011

apple crumble cake with vanilla custard

apple cake
We always have granny smith apples in our fruit basket at home. Heaps of them. 1- Because they are cheap and 2, because we love eating them just like that. So whenever I’m invited over to someone’s place for tea and need to make something easy/quick, this cake is exactly what comes to mind.

apple cake1

I think from memory, I’ve made this cake 4 times over the last few months and everytime it has been a hit! And here is where I stole this fabulous recipe from, My Recipe Stash. But of course, with my own slight variations to it.

apple2

It is very soft, crumbly and deliciously good when served with a dash of vanilla custard or even a scoop of vanilla ice cream. And don’t forget the cuppa, they go hand in hand :)

 

RECIPE FOR APPLE CRUMBLE CAKE WITH VANILLA CUSTARD
Cake recipe adapted from My Recipe Stash with slight variations

Serves: 12
Prep time: 20 mins
Bake time: 60 mins

Ingredients for the cake batter

1.5 cups self raising flour
2 eggs
3/4 cup oil
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup caster sugar
1.5 tsp cinnamon powder
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 cup plain yoghurt
2 granny smith apples, skin and core removed and cubed

Method for cake batter

1. In a large bowl, combine the wet ingredients such as oil, vanilla essence and yogurt with a manual whisk. Then gradually whisk in the eggs one at a time.

2. In another large bowl, sift all the dry ingredients and fold them in gently into the wet bowl.

3. Add the apples in and stir to combine.

4. Pour the cake batter into the tin and top it with a crumble layer (see recipe below on how to make crumble)

 

Ingredients for the crumble layer

3 tablespoons plain flour
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1.5 tablespoons unsalted butter (room temp)
Sprinkling of cinnamon

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees. Line and grease the bottom and sides of a 22cm springfoam tin.

2. Mix the crumble ingredients, rubbing together with your fingertips to create crumbs.Sprinkle evenly ontop of cake batter.

3. Bake for 50-60 minutes until the crumble is golden and when a skewer inserted comes out clean.

4. Leave to cool and serve with vanilla custard

 

Ingredients for vanilla custard
Adapted from Taste

1 cup milk
1 cup thickened cream
1 vanilla bean (or 1 tsp vanilla essense)
4 egg yolks
1 tbsp cornflour
1/2 cup caster sugar

Method for vanilla custard

1. Combine milk and cream in a small saucepan. Add in vanilla essence and place over medium heat. Whisk constantly using a hand whisk for 5 minutes or until thickens. Do not allow to boil. Remove from heat.

2.Whisk egg yolks, cornflour and sugar in a heatproof bowl until well combined. Pour hot milk mixture over egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly.

3. Return mixture to saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, for 15 minutes or until custard thickens and coats the back of a metal spoon (do not allow custard to boil, as it might curdle).

 

 


  • Nov
  • 15
  • 2011

thai inspired pattaya (omelette) fried rice | nasi goreng pattaya

basil pattaya fried rice

Nasi goreng pattaya, or simply nasi pattaya, is a Malaysian dish made by covering or wrapping fried rice, in fried egg (omelette). It is often served with chili sauce, cucumber, and/or keropok. The name comes from Pattaya, Thailand.

Source: Wikipedia

basil pattaya fried rice

In Malaysia, nasi pattaya is just chicken fried rice wrapped in omelette. The flavours are basically the same as you would find in any nasi goreng. This dish was inspired by Secret Recipe (again! My last pasta dish was also inspired by SR) when they extended their menu and included a Thai Inspired Pattaya Fried Rice, it was so irrisistably good!  This is a thumbs up from the hubby!

basil pattaya fried rice

And because I am so in love with chilli, I made my own special batch (aside from my daughter and husband’s) for me to indulge in. If you love spicy food, it taste even better when its hot. You’ll be wiping your nose every second but its all worth it!  Can you spot out those little nasty buggers in there? Don’t bite it of you can’t handle it. Hubby accidentally did and in his words ‘ I felt like a knife was slicing through my throat’. Oops!

RECIPE FOR THAI INSPIRED PATTAYA FRIED RICE/NASI GORENG PATTAYA
Inspired by Secret Recipe

Serves: 4
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 25 mins

Ingredients

3 cups cooked basmati rice (you can also use leftover rice)
16 prawns, shelled and deveined
1 chicken breast, cut into small bite size chunks
1 bulb garlic, sliced
Handful of basil leaves
1 chilli, cut
1 large carrot, diced
1 cup baby peas
1 large red capsicum
4 eggs, beaten (to make omelette)
1 tbsp dark soy sauce (for rice colouring)
2 tbsp oil
1 tbsp basil infused olive oil (optional)
1 tsp chilli oil (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

Method

1. Heat oil in a wok and fry chicken pieces and prawns until cook. Remove and set aside.

2. Using the same oil, sautee the garlic until slightly brown then add the vegetables and chilli.

3. Add in the rice, dark soy sauce and basil infused olive oil and stir till evenly coated.

4. Season well with salt and pepper.

5. In a large pan, heat up a little oil and add the beaten egg (1 egg for 1 pan, covering the entire pan). Flip once and remove onto a plate. Do this for the remaining 3 eggs to make 4 serves of omelette.

6. Dish the rice from the wok into the middle of the omelette and cover the rice completely with egg. Drizzle with chilli oil and serve immediately.


  • Nov
  • 12
  • 2011

oreo buttercream chocolate cake with choc ganache

oreo cake

This cake combines both my love for chocolate and oreos. Ever since I found the perfect moist chocolate cake, thanks to my beautiful Aunt Nola, I’ve added many frosting variations to it. I’ve tried making this cake with an orange cream cheese frosting, strawberry buttercream and the classic chocolate ganache. All of them go down pretty well with this cake. But how about combining this chocolate cake recipe with buttercream + chocolate ganache and oreo biscuits? Its absolutely delightful and heavenly! Even my neighbours couldn’t thank me enough. But I really do apologize for the ugly looking cake as I am not a perfectionist in cake decorating. Can you tell I sliced my cake in 3 different heights…gaah! The perfectionist cake department would have to be my sis. Mashallah, she is one good baker and so is her hubby ( I think they might even open a cakery soon).

But don’t judge a book by its cover, because this cake is to die for!

RECIPE FOR OREO BUTTERCREAM CHOCOLATE CAKE WITH CHOC GANACHE
Oreo buttercream recipe adapted from various sources
Chocolate cake recipe adapted from my Aunt Nola
choc ganache recipe adapted from Nigella Lawson

Serves: 12
Prep time: 30 mins
Bake time: 1 hour
Assembly time: 10 mins

Ingredients for chocolate cake

2 cups plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate soda
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 cups caster sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup milk
1 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 cup hot coffee (made from 1 tsp coffee)

Method for chocolate cake

Preheat oven to 170°c.

Line the base and sides of a 20cm diameter springfoam tin with baking paper.

Sift all the dry ingredients into a large bowl.

Pour all the wet ingredients into another large mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until combined.

Then gradually add the dry ingredients into the wet bowl. Fold until well combined.

Pour batter into the cake tin and bake for 50-60 minutes until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

Ingredients for  buttercream

120g butter, softened
1 1/2 cups icing sugar, sifted
2 tbsp milk
2 cups broken oreo cookies

Method for buttercream

Use an electric mixer to beat the butter until it forms a pale colour. Then gradually add milk and icing sugar, beating until well combined. Finally add the broken cookie pieces and fold mixture.

Ingredients for choc ganache

200 g dark chocolate
50 g butter (or 160ml cream)
120ml milk

Method for choc ganache

In a saucepan, heat milk, butter and dark chocolates until melted. Stir to combine.

 

To assemble:

Once the cake it cooled, cut it in 3 even layers. Spread the oreo buttercream on the bottom layer and put the cake on top. Repeat this again. Then finally pour the chocolate ganache, covering the entire cake evenly.


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