"

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Cauliflower , chicken and cheese gratin


Happy New Year , guys !!!! Wishing you all a healthy and productive 2016 !

And what better way to start the year by eating more veggies ? Okay , the original recipe is actually quiet healthy until I made some tweaks on it lol Nah , I just want to make something hearty so I added some chicken and quail eggs on mine .

I love thyme and it goes really great with chicken so a day before I cooked this dish , I visited several supermarkets , sadly , I didn't find some . Maybe , because it was after Christmas , and most people here had roasted chicken with lemon and thyme the night before ? Ha !


Anyway , I used dried thyme , which is pretty good sub and added fresh cilantro , just because .

The dish is pretty simple but remember when making the sauce , add the milk gradually as you stir it to the roux ( butter and flour mixture ) or else you'll have a lumpy sauce , which what happened to mine until I smoothen it out tsk tsk !

If you love cauliflower as much as I do , you'll gonna love this dish !


Please check original recipe @ Delicious magazine

For the creamy cheese sauce :

30 grams butter
30 grams all-purpose flour
400 ml ( UHT ) whole milk
3 tablespoons double cream
100 grams mild cheddar , grated plus extra for topping
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro plus extra for garnish
salt and black pepper , to taste

1 medium cauliflower , about 5 to 6-inches diameter , cut into florets
1 leek , cut into 1-inch lenghts
250 grams boneless , skin on chicken leg , cut into bite-sized pieces
12 quail eggs , boiled and peeled

*Preheat oven to 200°C .

* Season chicken pieces with 1/4 teaspoon chicken powder , pinch of dried thyme and 1/2 teaspoon oil . Pan-fry chicken , skin side down first , over high heat until golden brown , about a minute or so , transfer to a plate and set aside .

* Melt butter in a pan , when it foams , add flour and stir for a minute . Gradually add milk and stirring until sauce is smooth . Add in dried thyme and chilli flakes , stir and let simmer for 2 minutes , remove from heat then stir in the cream and cheese . Season well with salt and pepper , stir in chopped cilantro .

* Meanwhile , cook cauliflower and leek in a pot of boiling salted water for 4 to 5 minutes or until just tender . Drain well .

* Transfer the boiled vegetables , chicken and quail eggs in casserole dish ( 9x13-inch would be great ,  I used 2 8-inch as I don't a big one ) . Pour in the cheese sauce and mix . Sprinkle some extra cheese on top .

*Bake for 30 minutes until golden . Serve hot .


Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Baked matcha swirl cheesecake



Hey guys , how's your holiday so far ? Hope it is as relaxing as mine ......

I made this matcha cheesecake on Christmas Day but actually took photos of it after a day of procrastinating tsk tsk !

Anyway , not my best looking cheesecake to date but certainly the most delicious ! Cracks at all sides , obviously cramming more than 700 grams of cheesecake batter in a 6-inch square pan is a no-no . Or maybe I should have lowered the temperature a bit *sigh*


I used homemade creme fraiche in this cheesecake instead of the usual sour cream . Creme fraiche is a bit expensive here and I found this recipe a long time ago from one Dorie Greenspan book . It was pretty easy to make but you need to prepare it , about 2 days , beforehand . You can always use Greek yogurt or plain yogurt but you need to drain it to get rid of some of the whey . 

If you don't want any more fuzz , you can forego the topping and eat the cheesecake as is but any homemade cherry or strawberry ( festive color ! ) sauce is really delicious paired with this cake . In my part , I need to get rid of some of my white chocolate and decided to make a ganache . I was supposed to pipe it but it's winter in this side of the world , not cold but more of a chilly weather , the ganache sets very fast and I had a hard time piping them . Instead of a pretty Hershey's Kisses-like shaped that I envisioned , they look more like a poop-shaped lol The shape looks so ridiculous so I just rolled them into small balls .

This cheesecake is as always pretty easy to make as all of the my cheesecake posted on this site . I wrote the instructions as detailed as it can be , okay , more step by step photos would be nicer ha !

If you're looking for an easy yet scrumptious cheesecake for this coming New Year's celebration , look no further ! 


For the crust :

150 grams Biscoff biscuits ( or any biscuits you like ) , crushed into fine crumbs 
40 grams butter , melted and slightly cooled 

* Mix both ingredients and press into a ( lightly grease and line the bottom with baking/parchment paper ) 6-inch loose-bottom square or round pan , ideal pan size should be 7-inch and 8-inch is nice but the filling is not so thick .

* Freeze until needed . 

For the filling :

300 grams cream cheese , at room temperature 
100 grams granulated sugar
250 grams *homemade creme fraiche or store-bought
2 large eggs , at room temperature 
12 grams Uji matcha powder or any green tea powder you have on hand 

* Preheat oven to 160ºC , if using a 6-inch pan , lower to 145ºC ( I know , I know ! ) . Place a roasting tin at the lowest rack of your oven 

* Prepare a pot of hot water for the water bath .

* Combine cream cheese and sugar , beat at medium speed using an electric hand mixer for 3 minutes or until light and fluffy . Add in the creme fraiche and beat for 1 minute. 

* Add in the eggs , one at a time and beat on low speed for 30 seconds each . Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed . Take out 1 1/2 cups of the cheesecake batter and transfer into another bowl  then sift in the matcha powder and mix on low speed until well combined . 

* Drop the plain and matcha cheesecake batter , alternately , into the prepared pan and use a skewer to make a swirl on the batter . Tap the pan on the surface several times to get rid of the bubbles on the batter .    

* Pour hot water in a roasting pan and place the pan ( with cheesecake in it ^_^ ) one rack above it . This way you don't have to use a foil to cover the bottom of the pan and no water will seep inside the cheesecake while baking .

* Bake cheesecake for 30-35 minutes , at 160ºC , if using an 8-inch pan , 150º if using a 7-inch pan  , for 40 minutes and 145ºC for a 6-inch pan and bake for about 50 minutes or until cheesecake is set at the side but still jiggly at the center . 

* Open oven door slightly ajar and leave cheesecake inside for an hour or 2 . Take out from the oven and gently ran a knife at the sides of the pan . Let cheesecake cool in a pan on a wire rack completely before putting in the fridge to chill overnight ( at least 8 hours ) , uncovered . 

* Unmould cheesecake and transfer it to a serving plate or cake stand or just cut it straight from the pan . Serve with any toppings you prefer . 


For the homemade creme fraiche : 


250 ml cream 
1 tablespoon butter or plain yogurt 

* Place cream and buttermilk or yogurt in a jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake for 1 minute or so . 

* Leave the mixture at room temperature to thicken , 12 to 24 hours , depending on the warmth of your kitchen/place . Chill in the fridge for 1 day before using . If you see some whey or the mixture separates , just stir it and it'll be fine .

For the matcha-white chocolate ganache topping : 

200 grams Guittard white chocolate chips 
50 grams whipping cream 
3 grams Uji matcha 

* Combine chocolate and cream and place bowl on a pan of barely simmering water . Stir mixture from time to time until melted then sift in the matcha , stir until well combined . Let cool slightly before using . During winter it takes less than 10 minutes for the mixture to set especially if the amount is not that much but during summer when it's hot , say 30ºC , it'll take longer .