Monday, October 29, 2007

First Daring Baker's Challenge!!

Here it is!! the october daring baker's challenge!!!

Bostini Cream Pie!!

Was it hard to make?? Not really…just that the number of eggs required in the recipe was mind least for me…. :P I halved the recipe and used around 7 eggs...truly when u make a recipe that someone else has chosen that you get to learn more …in this case, how ‘restaurant type’ desserts are created…. I think on my own, i will not consider making a recipe which uses cream and 4 egg yolks to make custard..(isn't custard powder n milk enough???!! :P )
Basically the Bostini Cream Pie has 3 parts to it…a orange chiffon cake drenched with rich chocolate glaze sitting atop of rich eggy custard…
Served it to two different groups of friends..everyone was quite enthusiastic and gave positive reviews… i especially loved the custard…after cooking it, I couldn’t resist licking the spoon and pot clean!!

Mary of Alpineberry was the host this month...hop on over to her blog for the recipe and mouth watering pictures of the cream pie... :)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Focaccia bread

25g fresh yeast
3 ½ cups plain flour
2 tsp salt
5tbsp olive oil
2tsp sea salt

Dissolve yeast in 120ml of warm water. Allow to stand for 10 minutes. Sift the flour in a large bowl, make a well in the centre and add the yeast, salt and 2tbsp of oil. Add more water to make a dough.
Turn out on to a floured surface and knead the dough for about 10 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Return to the bowl, cover with a cloth, and leave to rise in a warm place for 2 – 2 ½ hours until the dough has doubled in bulk.
Knock back the dough and knead again for a few minutes. Press into an oiled 25cm/10 inch tart tin, and cover with a damp cloth. Leave to rise for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 200 degree C. Poke the dough all over with your fingers, to make little dimples in the surface. Pour the remaining oil over the dough, using a pastry brush to take it to the edges. Sprinkle with sea salt
Bake for 20 -25 min, until the bread is a pale gold. Carefully remove from tin and leave to cool on a rack. The bread is best eaten on the same day but freezes well too.

Chin ting made it! I was surprised that the ingredients and steps are so simple! I am going to make lots of them with my left over flour before I return home! By the way, u can add herbs to the dough too! I am planning to add Italian herbs in it.. Try it!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Green onion pancake

2 cups plain flour
1tsp salt
1 1/2 vegtable oil
2tsp baking powder
green onions/spring onions, chopped
160ml warm water
sesame oil

1)Combine flour, baking powder and 1 tsp salt, add 160 ml warm water mixed with 1 1/2 tbs of vegtetable oil, mix till a dough is formed. Wrap in plastic wrap and set aside for 20 mins

2)Roll dough into a log and divide into 12 pieces and cover. Place 1 piece on a lightly floured surface and use a rolling pin to form a 15cm flat round circle. Brush with sesame oil and scatter chopping green onions. Roll it up into a log and form a round spiral. Flatten the round spiral with rolling pin.

3) Fry pancake, each side 1 1/5 mins. Serve it with hosin sauce!

Taste good with meat and salad too! It taste exaclty like the skin pastry u get for peking duck!

Cheese Crackers!

Flaky, delicate and very cheesy....yummm!!

Recipe from Piggy's cooking journal!!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Tasting Australia

the price of procrastination!!!!

ahhhhhhh!!! it's nearly over!!!!!! I had wanted to check it two weeks ago..but have been putting it off!!!!

what am i talking about???

Tasting Australia...a week long fiesta of foodie heaven!! Wine tastings, cooking demostrations by renowned chefs, special menus, markets and fair days, talks about different types of cuisine..and one which i was particularly keen on...a talk on "Umami" by Barbara Santich (been wanting to meet her in person ever since i read her book, "Looking for flavour"...) and the talk was last night.......ahhhhhhhhh...pain..!!!!

Quick!! The festival ends on Sunday!!!

Click here to find out more.... !

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Quick and Easy Black Sesame Paste

Black sesame is said to be good for keeping hair dark and glossy and preventing the growth of white hairs. Once again..the chinese and our penchant for associating like-coloured foods to supposed health benefits...

But i was surprised not to find a recipe on my favourite Asian food blogs....

After some tweaking and experimenting, ta-dah!!! Quick and easy black sesame paste!!! (U do need a food processor or blender though...)

ingredients for 2:
1/2 cup cooked rice
1/4 grounded black sesame seeds (i bought mine in a packet but you can also get whole black sesame seeds and toast them slightly)
2 tbs sugar
1 to 2 cups boiling water (more or less depending on your preference)

Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan.
Blend with hand blender or food processer til smooth.
Bring to the boil and stir constantly to prevent burning/ sticking.
Serve warm.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Crab and snow pea Somen

Presenting what i have been eating the entire weekend...crab somen!
Various reasons...the top one being that i cooked too much....and was too busy/ stressed with assignments to ask friends over to share it..
it's great for bringing to potlucks i reckon...cos it's a cold dish and very easy to make...takes less than 30 minutes in total, including washing up!

400g somen
175 g canned crab meat, brine reserved
150 g snow pea sprouts, trimmed
6 green onions, chopped finely
1 tbs toasted white sesame seeds
1 can corn kernels (optional)
handful bonito flakes (optional)

1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup rice vinegar
3 tbs soy sauce
3 tbs sugar
1 tbs sesame oil
brine from crab

combine in screw top jar and shake well until sugar dissolves.

serves 6

1. cook somen in large saucepan of boiling water until just tender, drain and rinse noodles under cold water. Cut noodles with scissors to make them more manageable.

2. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl. Add dressing. Toss. Serve chilled and garnish with bonito flakes.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

White Fungus Apple dessert

recipe as requested by Qin...

from Kuali by Amy Beh

2 red Fuji apples, skinned, cored and cubed
1 whole white fungus, soaked for 5–10 minutes and cut into small pieces
1 tbsp each of bitter and sweet almonds
3 honey dates (mat choe) (do not substitute with red dates...the taste is quite different)
100g rock sugar (i used 70g, it was sweet enough for us..)
1.5 litres water
2 screwpine (pandan) leaves, shredded and knotted

1. Bring water to a boil and add apples, white fungus and bitter and sweet almonds. Cook for 5 minutes.

2. Add honey dates, rock sugar and screwpine leaves and simmer for 35-40 minutes. Serve hot or cold.

very easy to make...refreshing and makes u think u r doing something good for ur body...hee..chinese desserts are so much more healthier yar??

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Red bean brownies! LOW FAT!!!**

1/4 cup butter (55g)
55g red bean paste
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup macademia nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour (using cocoa powder) an 8 inch square pan.
In a large saucepan, melt 1/4 cup butter. Remove from heat, and stir in sugar, red bean paste, eggs, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat in 1/3 cup cocoa, 1/2 cup flour, salt, and baking powder. Add nuts if using. Spread batter into prepared pan.
Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Do not overcook.

Recipe modified from here

when i read somewhere that beans can be used as to replace fat in recipes, i was very intrigued with the theory and dug out my most reliable brownie recipe to test it out. I made two batches, one regular and one with half fat, half red bean paste.
Out ff 10 people, only 1 could guess correctly which one was the low fat brownie and she wasn't very sure too...

:) So it's a success!!! to cook the red bean paste?? Hmmm...for the quantity required in this recipe, i reckon u need only about 2 tbs raw red beans...soak them overnight, discard the water and then boil and then simmer them til they r soft...secret is to not add too much water initially, just an inch over them is fine...otherwise they'll stay hard..drain and mash and they r ready to be used.

**50% of the fat in this recipe has been replaced with protein with no discernible change in taste or texture!! it's about 4.5g per serve ... 4.5 g is slightly less than a tsp of fat...for brownies, that's considered v good...haa...fudge brownies can have up to 35g ???!!! Almost 2 tablespoons of fat in one't believe it myself too... :P