Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Featherlight Cheesecake

I love cheesecake but not the ones that you get at the store which I think is too heavy.  This cheesecake tastes almost like a souffle.  Very light to the tummy.  The cheese is hardly noticable.  I think it would taste much better if flavored with lemon or orange zest.  The process takes a little longer time but well worth it if you like cheesecakes that are not dense and as the name calls it.....its featherlight.  Since it does not use baking powder, the cake rises mainly by using egg whites that are whipped till stiff giving it a lot of air.




Ingredients

250gm milk
20gm butter
125gm cream cheese(room temperature)

50gm flour
3 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extractre
3 egg whites
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
80gm sugar

Pinch of salt
½ Tbsp cocoa powder
1 Tbsp boiling water


Method

  • Line the base of a 8 inch square pan and preheat the oven at 150/160C. 
  • In a medium sized bowl, cream cream cheese until smooth.
  • Bring milk and butter to a boil and pour ¼ of it into cream cheese and gently stir until incorporated. Pour in another ¼ the milk and stir again. Lastly pour in all the milk and stir until smooth. (At this point, prepare some boiling water)
  • Let the cheese mixture cool down and put in flour. Mix until smooth. Then put in egg yolks and vanilla. Mix until smooth.
  • In another clean bowl, beat egg whites until frothy. Put in salt and cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks. Put in sugar gradually and beat until stiff.
  • Put 1/3 of egg whites into cheese mixture and fold gently but quickly.
  • Pour the cheese mixture into the egg whites and fold until well incorporated.
  • Mix cocoa powder with boiling water until smooth. Put in a few tablespoons of the cheese batter and mix until a smooth chocolatey batter is formed.
  • Pour main cheese batter into prepared pan. Drizzle chocolate batter over main cheese batter.
  • Use a knife and cut through the batter to create a marbling effect.
  • Put pan into slightly bigger but shallower pan. Fill the bigger pan with boiling water until halfway up and bake for 50-60 minutes.
  • When cake is baked, remove from oven and release the sides of the cake from the pan immediately by running a knife between the sides of the cake and the pan. Leave it to cool down totally and chill until cold before cutting.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Lemon Blueberry Yogurt Loaf


My house smells so heavenly with lemons.  This beautiful lemon infused loaf has lemon zest and blueberry in it and drizzled with warm lemon sauce and topped with lemon glaze.  I was in the idea of keeping one loaf for breakfast tomorrow but a friend came by and insisted that she has to have one.  I have to thank sweet pea for coming up with such nice recipes.

Source:  Sweet Pea's kitchen

Ingredients

1 1/2 cup flour plus 1 tbsp flour, divided
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup plain yogurt
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp lemon zest
1/2 cup oil
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
1 1/2 cup blueberry

Lemon sauce

1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup squeezed lemon juice

Lemon Glaze

1 cup powdered sugar
3 tbsp lemon juice

Method

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare the 9 by 13 inch loaf tin by greasing the sides and bottom.

In a large bowl, add flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.  In another bowl, whisk together yogurt, lemon zest, eggs, vanilla and oil.  Slowly whisk in the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients till everything is combined.  Meanwhile add the remaining 1 tbsp of flour into the blueberries.  Stir in the blueberries into the batter gently.

Pour into the loaf pans and bake for about 50 minutes or until the skewer inserted comes out clean.

Cool the loaf in the pans for about 10 minutes before removing loaf to a wire rack on top of a baking sheet.

While the loaf is cooling, make the lemon syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir together lemon juice and sugar until dissolve.  Once dissolve, cook for another 3 minutes.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Using a toothpick, poke holes on top and sides of the loaf. Brush the syrup evenly over the loaf. Let it cool completely.

For the glaze, mix confectioner sugar with 2 to 3 tablespoon of lemon juice.   The mixture should be thick but pourable.  Add up to another tablespoon if mixture is thick.  Pour lemon glaze over the top of the cooled loaf.  Let lemon glaze harden for about 15 minutes before serving.

my glaze is not too thick since I dont quite like too much of glaze...

The loaf is moist and bursts with lemony flavor and fresh blueberries



Thursday, May 26, 2011

Beetroot Chocolate Cupcake

This is the most wonderful and moist cupcake ever that I think is the next closest to a box mix.  The beetroot and an addition of a small amount of melted chocolate in this recipe seems to have taken this cupcake to a next level. The taste of the beets are hardly noticable.  I will be surely be using this recipe for my chocolate cupcakes. For the frosting, I used some chocolate ganache and shaved white chocolate for the sprinkle.


Ingredients

2 oz dark chocolate
2 tbsp butter
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup cake flour
1 tbsp cocoa powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup beetroot puree ( I used 1 can of beetroot and processed it in a food processor)

Method


Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake papers. Preheat oven to 350°F.
Place the chopped chocolate and 2 tablespoons of the butter in a microwavable bowl and microwave on low, at 30 second intervals, until ingredients are melted. Stir often during the melting process. Stir until smooth and set aside to cool slightly.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat remaining butter and sugar together until well combined. Scrape down the sides often. Beat in egg and vanilla. Beat in beet purée, followed by melted chocolate mixture.
Remove paddle attachment, and using a sturdy spatula, fold in flour mixture by hand. Do not over mix.
Using a ice scoop to make the job easier and mess-free, divide cupcake batter among muffin cups.
Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cool in tins for a few minutes, then cool cupcakes completely on a wire rack.


Note:  If anyone has tried it, please post a comment.  I would love to hear it.





Monday, May 23, 2011

Chocolate Pancake


Ingredients
  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 3 tbsp cooking oil
Method

  1. In a large bowl combine flour and other dry ingredients.(I like to put the cocoa through a sieve to get rid of any lumps)
  2. In a second bowl, combine remaining ingredients.
  3. Stir buttermilk mixture into flour mixture until slightly lumpy.
  4. Heat a lightly greased griddle or heavy skillet over medium heat until a few drops of water dance across surface.
  5. Reduce heat to medium-low. For each pancake, pour 1/4 cup batter onto griddle. Cook until lightly browned; turn when tops are bubbly and edges are slightly dry (about 2 to 3 minutes per side). Makes 16 pancakes.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Soft Dinner Rolls



Source:  Foodwishes.blogspot

Ingredients

1 pkt yeast
1/4 cup warm water
3 tbsp butter
1 egg
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup milk
2 tbsp sugar
3 cup flour plus more for dusting

Mix the yeast and warm water and 1 tbsp of sugar.  Leave in warm place to froth.  Meanwhile warm the milk and melt butter.

Add the balance sugar, lightly beaten egg and warmed milk to the yeast mixture.  Add in 1 cup of flour.  Stir with a whisk.  Slowly add in 1 more cup of flour and stir with a spatula, then the final 1 cup of flour.  Stir till everything is combined. Throw the flour over onto a floured surface.  Knead for about 7 minutes.  Add in sprinkles of flour whenever it sticks to your hands.

Lightly oil a bowl and put the dough in to rise in a warm place for about 1 1/2 hour or till it doubles.

Once risen, punch down the dough and let rise for about 5 minutes.  Divide the dough into 12 rolls.  Place them in a 9 by 13 in baking glass dish.  Leave about 1 1/2 in apart.  Leave it to rise for about 30 minutes.  Glaze the top with 1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp of water.

Bake for about 25 minutes until golden brown.




Friday, May 20, 2011

Blackberry Walnut Streusel Quick Bread


These frozen blackberry makes a wonderful quick bread in a snap.  Eaten plain or with whipped cream is simply delicious. I just love to have a piece with my cup of tea.


Source:  Driscoll's

Streusel

  • cup walnut halves, finely chopped and lightly toasted 
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour 
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed 
  • Tbsp. granulated sugar 
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon 
  • Tbsp. butter, unsalted, melted and cooled 
Quick Bread
  • cups Driscoll's Blackberries, divided 
  • 1-1/2 cup all-purpose flour 
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder 
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda 
  • 1/4 tsp. salt 
  • Tbsp. butter, unsalted, at room temperature 
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar 
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed 
  • tsp. vanilla extract 
  • each large eggs (at room temperature) 
  • 1/2 cup sour cream 


Method
Streusel
  1. Toss the first 5 ingredients together in a bowl. Add melted butter and stir until combined. Divide mixture in half into two bowls; set aside. 
Quick Bread
  1. Arrange oven rack in center of oven. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9”x5” loaf pan with nonstick spray; thoroughly coat with flour, removing any excess. 
  2. Chop 1 cup of Driscoll’s Blackberries and toss them with half of the reserved streusel; set aside. 
  3. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt to aerate and combine; set aside. 
  4. Beat the butter with an electric mixer until soft and creamy. 
  5. Add sugar and brown sugar and beat until combined. Beat in vanilla extract. 
  6. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. 
  7. Add the dry mixture in three additions, alternately with the sour cream. Begin and end with the dry mixture and beat briefly until just smooth. 
  8. Scrape half of the batter into the prepared pan, spreading evenly with a small offset spatula. 
  9. Top with streusel/chopped blackberry mixture, forming an even layer. 
  10. Scrape remaining batter on top, spreading carefully to cover center streusel layer. Top with remaining streusel and place remaining whole blackberries evenly over top, pressing gently to help adhere. 
  11. Bake for about 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a bamboo skewer inserted in the center shows a few moist crumbs when removed. 
  12. Cool pan on wire rack for 15 minutes, then unmold directly onto rack, right side up, to cool completely. Wrap in aluminum foil to store at room temperature for 3 days.




Thursday, May 19, 2011

Chicken and Dumplings


This is the best comfort meal whenever its cold outside or if you just need a simple dish on a busy weekday.    I must say that I am not a particular fan of dumplings but its just how I feel. The soup on the other hand is just perfect with seasoning and thickens as you add the dumplings in.

Source:  Cooks Illustrated

Ingredients

1 large roasting chicken
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, cut into large chunks
2 bay leaves
Salt
3 celery stalks, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
4 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
6 boiling onions (smaller than regular onions, larger than pearl onions), peeled and halved
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, or chicken fat from the cooked chicken
6 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 Tbsp of heavy cream (optional)
3/4 cup frozen peas, thawed
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley leaves
Ground black or white pepper



Dumplings
2 cups cake flour (can sub all-purpose flour)
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 Tbsp butter, melted
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup minced fresh herb leaves such as parsley, chives, and tarragon (optional)

Method

1 Make the stock.
Heat olive oil in a deep (at least 4-inch high) large skillet or 6-qt Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add hacked up chicken pieces - the back, neck, and wings - and onion chunks (not the boiling onions). Sauté until onions soften and chicken pieces lose their raw color, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low, cover, and continue to cook for about 20 minutes. (While chicken stock pieces are cooking, bring 6 cups of water to a boil in a kettle.) Increase heat to to medium-high, add the 6 cups of hot water to the chicken pieces.
2 Poach the chicken in the stock.
Add skinless chicken parts (legs, thighs, breasts), 2 bay leaves, and 3/4 teaspoon of salt to the stock and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat; continue to simmer, partially covered, until broth is flavorful and chicken parts are just cooked through, about 20 minutes. Remove chicken parts from the pan and set aside. When they are cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the bones in 2-inch chunks or strips. Place a strainer over a large bowl and pour the broth through it, straining out the solids from the broth. Discard the solids. Skim and reserve the chicken fat from broth and set aside 5 cups of broth, reserving extra for another use.
3 Make the dumpling batter.
While chicken is cooking, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Add (optional) chopped fresh herbs. Add melted butter and milk to the dry ingredients. Gently mix with a spoon until mixture just comes together. (Note: do not overmix! or your dumplings will turn out too dense.) Set aside.
4 Make the stew base, assemble the stew.
Heat reserved chicken fat (or butter) in the pan you had used to make the stock over medium-high heat. Whisk in flour and thyme; cook, whisking constantly, until flour turns golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Whisking constantly, gradually add sherry or vermouth, then slowly add the reserved 5 cups of chicken stock; simmer until mixture thickens slightly, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the vegetables, simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in chicken and optional cream; return to a strong simmer. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
5 Add the dumplings.
Drop dumpling batter into the simmering stew by heaping teaspoonfuls, over the surface of the stew. Cover and simmer until dumplings are cooked through, about 15 minutes. Once you have covered the pan, do not uncover while the dumplings are cooking! In order for them to be light and fluffy, they must steam, not boil. Uncovering the pan releases the steam. If after 15 minutes they are still not cooked through (use a toothpick or skewer to test) cover pan again, and cook for another 5 to 10 minutes.
Gently stir in peas and parsley. Ladle portions of meat, sauce, vegetables, and dumplings into soup plates and serve immediately.
Serves 6 to 8.




Monday, May 16, 2011

Upside Down Peach Biscuit


A wonderful easy to prepare dessert that my daughter prepared by using canned refrigerated biscuit.  I used peach since we had a can lying around but this would be super delicious with pineapple rings and topped with whip cream or with vanilla ice cream.


Ingredients

1 can refrigerator biscuits
3 tbsp margarine
1 can canned peaches, drained but reserve 1 tbsp
1/2 cup brown sugar

Method

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9 in round pan.
Melt the margarine and pour evenly over the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle the brown sugar over the melted margarine evenly.
Arrange the peaches over the brown sugar.  Layer the biscuits on top of the peaches.
Bake for approximately  15 minutes or until the biscuits are lightly golden brown.
Let cool for 3 min.  Place platter over the top of the pan, invert so that the biscuits are served as a pineapple coffeecake.

Variations :  If using pineapple....1/2 cup of drained crushed pineapple  mix in with the brown sugar and then spread over the margarine.



Sunday, May 15, 2011

Salmon with Nigerian Peanut Sauce



Who needs to be in Nigeria to enjoy this scrumptious Salmon.  If you love peanut butter, then you would definetly enjoy this dish. Even my picky eaters who dislike peanuts, ate this.  The fish is just cooked till it flakes but still slightly pink. This dish is served with rice.

Ingredients

4 skinless salmon fillets
1/2 tsp garlic and herb seasoning
1/2 tsp thyme

1 red pepper

Ground Nut Sauce

1 tsp canola oil
1/2 red onion
1/2 tsp curry powder
black pepper
2 tsp fresh garlic, minced
2 tbsp peanut butter
1 1/2 cup vegetable broth
2 firm roma tomatoes

Method

Heat oil in a stove top pot at medium.  Finely chop onions, adding to the pot as you cut.  Saute until translucent and just slightly brown.  Add pepper, curry powder, garlic, peanut butter and broth.  Chop tomatoes and add to the pot.

Meanwhile spray a nonstick fry pan with cooking spray and heat at medium heat.  Season salmon on both sides and saute about 3 minutes per side. Remove from heat, cover and let rest.

Sliver red pepper, adding to ground nut sauce as you cut.  Taste seasonings.  Drizzle the ground nut sauce on the fish.

Serve with rice and salad.

Lima Bean and Avacado salsa


I actually made this salsa as a side dish for my Salmon.  Used canned Lima Beans and sweet kernel corn. Zest it up with lime juice, salt and pepper.

Ingredients

1 can Lima Bean
1 can corn
1 sweet yellow or red pepper
1 small onion, diced
1 lime, juiced
1 avacado, cubed
salt and pepper
Cilantro, chopped

Mix everything together and taste for seasoning. Refrigerate.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Butterfinger Blondie

The color of my blondie is not too dark because I used less of the brown sugar...

Who doesn’t love a Butterfinger? I think they may have been one of my favorite things to get during Halloween. The only bad part was having to get all of the crunchy peanut butter candy out of your teeth! I know its too soon for halloween but I saw this recipe and was wondering how it was gonna taste and it so happened that I had to bring in a treat for my son's tennis team and this was perfect. 

Source: All recipes

Ingredients

2¼ cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
¾ cup butter, softened
2¼ cups brown sugar
3 large eggs
1½ tsp vanilla extract
4 regular-sized butterfinger candy bars, crushed
Method
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 13×9-inch baking pan.
  • In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, with electric mixer at medium speed, combine butter and brown sugar.
  • Beat in eggs and vanilla until smooth.
  • Stir in flour mixture and 1 cup of crushed butterfingers.
  • Spread in prepared pan. Sprinkle remaining crushed butterfinger bars over top of batter.
  • Bake 30- 35 minutes, or until the bars are a bit firm to the touch. Cool completely before cutting into bars.



Friday, May 13, 2011

Sponge Method Bread

This bread method takes a little longer time but the result is a soft sandwich bread.  It was a little tough to handle since I knead with hand.  It would have been better if its with a bread machine. I used some pandan paste for the green.


Ingredients

Sponge Dough
1 cup plain flour
½ tsp yeast
1 tsp sugar
60 ml water

Bread Dough
100ml water
1 egg
30g condensed milk
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt

Above sponge dough
2 cups bread flour
¼ tsp yeast

1 tsp pandan essence

20g margarine/ butter

Methods

Sponge Dough
Mix all till form dough. Store the dough inside greased plastic bag. Make a tight knot. Immediately store in fridge at least 4 hours before used. (I used to prepare one night before) Thaw at room temperature about 10 minutes before use.


Bread Dough
1. Put water, egg, condensed milk, sugar and salt in a bowl. Stir to mix. Add in the small pieces of overnight sponge dough (tear into small portions). Follow by bread flour and yeast. Knead till form dough.

2. Add in the margarine and continue knead to form elastic dough. Measure 150g from the ready dough and add in pandan essence. Knead to well combine. Shape the plain and pandan dough into balls, cover and rest for 45 minutes.

3. Transfer the dough onto working surface. Flatten with rolling pin to remove the air bubbles. Rest for 10 minutes.

4. Again roll the dough, this time into proper rectangle shape. Place the green dough on top and gently roll to seal tight. Gently roll into swiss roll shape. Divide into 3 portions. Arrange into greased sandwich mould and rest for 45 minutes.

5. Bake in the preheated oven 170C for 30 minutes. Once bake, immediately remove from mould and cool on wire rack.




Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Anchovy Pizza

This is another addition to my pizza nights.  The recipe for the dough is soft and nice.  Can be used as a pan or thin crust.

Source:  Jamie Oliver-Food Network


Pizza Dough


  • 7 cups strong white bread flour or Tipo "00" flour or 5 cups strong white bread flour or Tipo "00" flour, plus 2 cups finely ground semolina flour
  • 1 level tablespoon fine salt
  • 2 (1/4-ounce) packets active dried yeast
  • 1 tablespoon raw sugar
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 1/2 cups lukewarm water
Sift the flours and salt onto a clean work surface and make a well in the middle. In a large measuring cup, mix the yeast, sugar and olive oil into the water and leave for a few minutes, then pour into the well. Using a fork, bring the flour in gradually from the sides and swirl it into the liquid. Keep mixing, drawing larger amounts of flour in, and when it all starts to come together, work the rest of the flour in with your clean, flour-dusted hands. Knead until you have a smooth, springy dough.
Like so...(this is my little chef's hands)
Place the ball of dough in a large flour-dusted bowl and flour the top of it. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and place in a warm room for about 1 hour until the dough has doubled in size.
Now remove the dough to a flour-dusted surface and knead it around a bit to push the air out with your hands - this is called punching down the dough. You can either use it immediately, or keep it, wrapped in plastic wrap, in the fridge (or freezer) until required. If using straightaway, divide the dough up into as many little balls as you want to make pizzas - this amount of dough is enough to make about six to eight medium pizzas.
Timing-wise, it's a good idea to roll the pizzas out about 15 to 20 minutes before you want to cook them. Don't roll them out and leave them hanging around for a few hours, though - if you are working in advance like this it's better to leave your dough, covered with plastic wrap, in the refrigerator. However, if you want to get them rolled out so there's 1 less thing to do when your guests are round, simply roll the dough out into rough circles, about 1/4-inch thick, and place them on slightly larger pieces of olive-oil-rubbed and flour-dusted aluminum foil. You can then stack the pizzas, cover them with plastic wrap, and pop them into the refrigerator.
Topping
Anchovy in oil, 4 pieces
Onion, sliced
Tomato, cut into rings
Mozarella cheese
1 clove garlic, minced
* I saute onions in olive oil, added the anchovies and cooked till the onions turn brown.  Use this to top the pizza, followed by tomato and cheese.