Friday, June 30, 2017

Matcha mascarpone cream mousse cakes

Hey there , lurkers 😀

How's life treating you ?

Looking for one easy peasy no-bake dessert ? Here's one scrumptious confection that's pretty easy to make !

Sort of like your same old , same old cheesecake but a bit lighter . I need to use up my mascarpone and the cream - both has been giving me an evil eye every time I open the fridge so ....

Matcha is obviously one ingredient that I love to use in my cakes and bakes and if you ask me what brand I'm using ? I honestly don't know .... In most baking supplies here , it is sold in small packets , in 20 , 25 or 50 grams . The English translation on the label only list Uji premium matcha powder , Japanese Uji green tea powder or just plain green tea powder . I usually use the first one and the other as back up . I think the matcha is just a baking-grade so the price is reasonable .

No mascarpone cream ? Greek yogurt is a pretty good sub and of course , the readily available cream cheese . The original recipe , listed below , only calls for whipping cream but as I already tried several recipes using it , I can say that the one with mascarpone win hands down !

For the crumb base , if you can find Biscoff , I'm begging you ,  Ha ! , use it instead of digestive biscuits . It's sinfully delicious paired with the matcha mascarpone cream . And if you have salted butter , use it as it cuts the richness of the biscuits .

Have you tried the Ossuloc green tea milk spread ? Making homemade is pretty easy , I forgot to take photo of the one I made last time but do check it out on my Instagram , I added some to this cake but it is optional .

Making the matcha jelly is a no-brainer , not only it adds texture , it also looks pretty as a topping !

No mousse moulds ? Use several small clear glasses and omit the gelatine .

Love matcha ? This one's for you ! 

Recipe inspiration taken from this bilingual cookbook : 簡易蛋糕甜品 / 芝芝著 , original recipe listed below 

Crumb base :

130 grams Biscoff biscuits
50 grams lightly-salted butter , very soft

* Prepare 4 small mousse rings . The moulds that I used are in 3 different sizes - 8x4cm , 7x5cm and 7x5.5cm .

* Place biscuits and butter in a food processor and process until well combined . Divide evenly into the prepared mousse tins , use a spoon or one end of a straight rolling pin to flatten / smooth the crumbs . Place in the freezer for about 20 minutes or longer to harden .

Mascarpone filling :

6 grams gelatine sheets
125 grams whipping cream , chilled 
175 grams mascarpone , chilled 
50 grams matcha milk spread , homemade or store-bought 
60 grams caster sugar 
10 grams matcha powder 

* Prepare an ice water bath ( if it's as hot as Hades in your kitchen )

* Soak gelatine in cold water for 10 minutes or until soft .

* Pour cream in a chilled mixing bowl , place bowl over an ice water bath . Whisk / beat until it thickens a bit , add in the mascarpone , milk spread and sugar . Beat mixture over medium speed until smooth and stiff .

* Dissolve matcha in 2 1/2 tablespoons hot water , stir until well combined . Add immediately to the mascarpone cream mixture and beat over low speed until incorporated .

* Squeeze off excess water from the softened gelatine , place into a small bowl and pour in  2 tablespoons hot water , stir until completely dissolved . Pour immediately to the matcha mascarpone cream mixture , mix thoroughly . Give mixture a thorough mix before pouring into the prepared tins . Leave a space for matcha jelly , about 3 to 5-mm .

* Chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes or so .

Matcha Jelly :

2 grams matcha powder
4 grams gelatine sheets , softened for 10 minutes
15 grams caster sugar
70 grams drinking water

* Place all ingredients in a small saucepan , let boil over medium heat . Transfer to a small measuring cup or bowl and let cool at room temperature .

* Take out mousse from the fridge , pour matcha jelly mixture evenly on top of each tin .

* Chill mousse in the fridge for at least 4 hours , preferably overnight .

To easily detach the mousse cakes : 

* Ran a hair/blow dryer over the sides of each tin/mould repeatedly for few minutes then gently shake until cake pops down . Chill for 30 minutes or so before serving . 

Original recipe : You'll need  three 6-cm diameter round mousse rings 

Crumb base : 

20 grams digestive biscuits 
10 grams unsalted butter , melted 

Green tea mousse :

150 grams whipping cream 
40 grams sugar 
10 grams green tea powder + 2 tbsp hot water 
4 grams leaf gelatine + 2 tbsp hot water 

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Matcha soufflé roll cake

If you usually bake cakes and fond of making lighter desserts , you've probably seen this roll cake before . This deliciousness is called Dojima roll cake which originated in the Land of the Rising Sun , basically a fluffy sponge roll with cream filling . As with most Japanese-inspired dessert this cake is light in both texture and flavour .

This soufflé sponge cake  is made by cooking the flour in a melted butter ,  a cooked dough that yields a flexible texture that's just perfect for this roll . In making my soufflé sponge , I over-whipped the meringue , again , resulting in a bit runny batter and dense texture after baking . I don't really know the right texture of the soufflé sponge but from the look of my cake , it baked up nicely and thicker ( about 2/3 thick )  than I expected it to be . But then is soufflé supposed to deflate after few minutes , right ? Maybe I'll make a strawberry soufflé roll cake next time .......

The filling is basically a chantilly cream , a simple whipped cream with a bit of icing sugar . I added matcha , just because and strawberry for texture and flavour contrast . Of course , I crossed my fingers that the berries will stay put in the middle of the cake after I rolled it ! Though the berries at both ends still behaved badly and gave a huge sigh of relief when I made my first slice lol 

How did I made this roll almost seamless ? There is no sorcery involved heh ! You just need to cut the top and bottom ends diagonally so that when you roll it , it will connect firmly . The amount of cream is important as well , for this 11-inch / 28-cm square cake , you need about 300 - 350 grams ( give or take a few grams ) of cream for better result . Remember in making this roll cake , the more cream the creamier er the better lol 

Recipe adapted from Okashi : Sweet Treats Made Love

Matcha soufflé roll sponge 

1 egg
3 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
35 grams unsalted butter
60 grams pastry/top/cake flour , sifted twice together with matcha powder
5 grams matcha or green tea powder
60 grams fresh whole milk
3 egg whites
85 grams caster sugar

* Preheat oven to 180ºC . Line an 11-inch / 28-cm square cake pan with parchment paper .

* Combine the egg , egg yolks and vanilla in a small bowl and beat lightly .

* Place butter in a small saucepan and melt over low heat . Add in the flour mixture to the melted butter and cook for about 2 minutes until cooked through . Transfer cooked dough to a bowl and gradually add in the egg mixture , stirring or whisking as you pour ,  until you have a smooth batter . Add in milk and mix to incorporate . Strain batter and set aside .

* Place egg whites in a clean bowl and beat until foamy , add in sugar in 2 or 3 additions . Beat until whites are glossy and stiff peaks form .

* Add 1/3 of the meringue to the batter and fold in lightly , add in the remaining meringue and fold through until just incorporated . Pour batter into prepared pan and spread evenly with a scraper .

* Bake for 20 minutes . When cake is done , remove cake from the pan and place in a large food bag or cover with parchment or plastic wrap to cool completely .

For the easy-peasy matcha cream : 

300 - 350 grams   whipping cream
1 teaspoon or more matcha powder
25 grams or more icing sugar

7 pieces hulled strawberries , depending on the size

* Place bowl and beater in a fridge prior to whisking especially during summer also , prepare an ice water bath and place the bowl with the cream over it to speed up the thickening of cream .

* Place cream in a deep large bowl and sift in the matcha powder . Whisk until soft peaks form then add in the icing sugar continue beating until stiff peaks form .

To assemble the cake : 

* Once the cake has completely cooled , you can scrape the brown crust off the top of the cake ( optional ) . Use a bread knife to slice off a small portion on top and bottom ends diagonally .

* Spread a thin coating of whipped cream on top of the cake , leave a bit of space on each sides .

* Place a big dollop of cream nearly to the middle of the cake , arrange some strawberries on top , about 7 . Cover strawberries with more cream . Roll sponge gently until both edges meet . Wrap rolled sponge tightly with plastic wrap .

* Chill in the fridge to set for at least 4 hours or overnight .

To serve :

* Trim the cake on both ends . Decorate with matcha milk spread and strawberries on top .

* Chill in the fridge again for about 30 minutes before serving .

Monday, March 27, 2017

Nutella mousse cakes

Calling all Nutella lovers ! 

Culling out some of my bread spreads that are near their expiration date . I usually buy them for baking or making frozen desserts rather than consuming with bread or crackers . Most of them though are left lurking in the darkest corner of the fridge 😁 So far , I've got matcha cream , Maltesers' Teasers , Reese's peanut butter chocolate , cherry jam , peanut butter , homemade ube jam and of course , Nutella .

So many spreads , so little time ....

This creamy , dreamy dessert is a custard base mousse , unlike some recipes that only uses gelatin , this version is made just like a custard-based ice cream . Milk and egg yolks are cooked until it thickens and the rest of the ingredients are added . It yields a smooth and creamy texture that is much better than the matcha mousse tarts I made last time . When I make Nutella ice cream , this recipe will be my inspiration .

I decided to fill 6 of the mousse with Nutella but a Nutella filling will turn a bit hard after several hours of freezing ; defrosting it for an hour will soften the mousse but the filling will take time . I think adding a bit of cream to make it lighter or maybe make a Nutella jelly (?) would be much better instead . That said the mousse alone is worth making .

The mousse recipe I listed below is my slightly tweaked version . I omitted the melted milk chocolate and added more Nutella ; used cream cheese instead of mascarpone and 6-inch mousse ring rather than silicone moulds .

The biscuit base on its own taste like Nutella . I tried the biscuit/joconde recipe from one of my fave food site , substituting ground almonds with hazelnuts . It may not be as thick as I would like it to be , me being the master of over mixing the batter - good thing that I used a smaller pan instead of what is recommended least I'll be scraping the biscuit instead of cutting it lol But still quiet happy with the taste . If you want to try the recipe , double the amount and don't over mix the batter .

Time consuming dessert perhaps but it'll be worth it if you love Nutella .....

Cocoa-hazelnut biscuit

40 grams icing sugar
40 grams hazelnut powder
5 grams ( Valrhona ) cocoa powder
10 grams cake flour
1 egg
1 egg white
10 grams caster sugar
10 grams butter

* Line a 10-inch square baking pan with parchment paper .

* Preheat oven to 190ºC .

* In a mixing bowl , sift in icing sugar , hazelnut powder , cocoa powder and cake flour , mix to combine . Add in the egg and stir until mixture thickens , set aside .

* Melt butter .

* In a clean bowl , beat the egg white and sugar until firm peaks form .

* Add melted butter to cocoa-hazelnut batter , mix well to combine . Gently fold half of the meringue to the batter then mix in the remaining half .

* Pour batter into the prepared baking pan , spread batter evenly . Bake for 10 minutes or until cook through . Once baked , let cool completely before using .

* Using a cookie mould or any round glass ( it should be the same size as the top of the moulds ) cut out 7 pieces 7-cm round biscuits .

Nutella mousse , recipe adapted from Cakes Made Simple by Charles Ho 

Makes six 7-cm dome-shaped  plus two 8-cm flower-shaped mousse cakes 

190 grams whipping cream
50 grams cream cheese at room temperature
150 grams milk
2 egg yolks , about 36 grams
10 grams caster sugar
8 grams gelatin sheets
35 grams drinking water
20 grams custard powder
100 grams Nutella

120 grams Nutella for filling

* Line a baking sheet with plastic wrap . Spoon 6 pieces of Nutella at 20 grams each , about 2-inch round , leave space between each piece . Freeze until needed .

* Prepare the silicone moulds .

* Pour cream in a mixing bowl and beat until firm peaks form , chill in the fridge until needed .

* Place cream cheese in a large mixing bowl and stir until smooth , set aside .

* Place milk in a saucepan and bring to a boil over low heat .

* Soak gelatin sheets in a cold water for 10 minutes .

* Meanwhile , whisk egg yolks and sugar until light and fluffy . When milk is hot , pour gradually into the yolk mixture , whisking as you pour to prevent curdling . Pour back egg-milk mixture into the pan and cook over low heat until thickens , about 6-8 minutes . Strain custard into the bowl with cream cheese , stir until smooth . Mix in the custard powder then add in the Nutella , mix until well combined .

* Squeeze excess water from softened gelatin and place in a heatproof bowl together with the drinking water . Place bowl in a saucepan with barely simmering water , stir until gelatin is dissolved completely .  Stir gelatin into the Nutella mixture and mix until smooth . Add in the whipped cream into the mixture and stir gently until well combined .

* Pour mixture into the silicone moulds , fill each cavity halfway , place a piece of frozen Nutella on top then pour in more mixture almost to the rim of the mould . Top with cut out round biscuits .

* Put moulds in the freezer for at least 4 hours or overnight . Take out moulds from the freezer , unmould each frozen mousse and place in a baking sheet or a serving plate , let soften in the fridge for at least an hour before serving . Top with rocher , if available .

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Twice-baked Thai-peanut chicken wings

I've been meaning to post this last month but the mind is willing but the hand er the body is not lol 

Anyway , looking for another tasty chicken wings recipe ?

Look no further ! These Thai-inspired wings , which taste like a mild grilled satay are easy to make with big flavour payoff . Because these wings are baked not deep-fried so less mess to clean up afterwards . I'm pretty sure that most ingredients are already in your kitchen pantry .

The original recipe calls for 3 pounds of wings but I used only 2 so there's some extra sauce . I simmered the extra sauce , toss in some some boiled fresh ramen noodles and yup , a very satisfying peanut noodles  to go with these baked wings . Kind of reminds me of satay Mie goreng .....

I added some Thai chilli sauce for a kick because you can never go wrong with it .

Recipe adapted here  

2 pounds chicken wings , combination of mid-wings and drumettes
2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1/3 cup coconut milk 
1/4 cup crunchy peanut butter  
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 tablespoon Thai fish sauce
2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons Thai chilli sauce

* Rinse and pat dry wings thoroughly , season with coarse sea salt , set aside for an hour .

* Place grill 4-inches / 2nd rack from the top . Line the lowest rack with foil to catch chicken drippings .

* Preheat oven to 200ºC , upper heat only .

* Using an oven mitt , take out grill and lightly brush with oil , arrange wings on top and put back in the oven . Bake for about 35 minutes , flipping wings after 15-20 minutes of cooking , until both sides are cooked through . Cooking time depending on the oven you're using .

* When the wings are nearly done , make the peanut sauce . In a large bowl , whisk together the coconut milk , peanut butter , soy sauce , fish sauce , lime juice and the chilli sauce until smooth , adjust ingredients according to taste .

* Place wings into a bowl with the sauce and toss to coat .

* Turn heat to the highest setting , ours is 240ºC . Place back wings on the the grill and put back in the oven . Bake for about 4 minutes on each side or until wings are lightly charred .

* Serve hot . Perfect with steamed rice or noodles or with beer . 

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Turnip cake / pudding aka Loh bak goh

It's nearly that time of the year again ! 

I really need to start my spring cleaning .......

Chinese around the world are busy preparing for their most important festival , the Chinese New Year which will start on January 28th . Mention Chinese New Year and what immediately comes to mind is food ! Okay , lai-see packets as well lol 

Many foods consumed during Chinese New Year are symbolic . Loh bak goh , Cantonese for steamed turnip cake or pudding is an auspicious food which symbolizes good fortune , a must-have in most Cantonese households during this festival . Basically made with grated radish / turnip , rice flour and Chinese sausages , mixture is steamed then serve pan-fried .

Making this yum cha staple is pretty easy but grating the radish takes patience .  As I love to eat it during the winter season , grating more than a kilo of turnip / radish is like a walk in the park or library to me hee hee ! 

If you want to try it , make the half recipe I listed below , you can adjust the seasoning according to preference . The trick to make it easy to unmould the cake / pudding especially if you using an aluminium cake pan is to grease it generously with oil , if using a 6-inch pan , use about 2 teaspoons of oil .

I fried the steamed cake/ pudding 2 ways - the first one is the usual way , cut into squares and pan-fried both sides until golden brown . The other version is to cut the cake into small cubes , pan-fried until brown and crispy then XO sauce is added . XO sauce is a condiment made from dried seafoods like scallops , shrimps and fish and usually use for stir fry dishes .

Recipe adapted from 必學的中西節日美食 = Festive delicacies / [黎楊惠玲作].

Grease one 22-cm square tin ( with 2-inch height ) or two 20 x 10-cm loaf tins or one 22-cm round tin ( with 3-inch height ) or two 15-cm round tins

1.2 kg turnip / radish
3 ( 120 grams )  Chinese sausages
30 grams dried shrimps
5 dried mushrooms
1 tablespoon ginger juice ( squeezed from about 40 grams grated fresh ginger )
1 tablespoon Chinese wine
300 grams rice flour
40 grams wheat flour
800 ml water ( including juice from drained grated turnip ) divided

Seasoning : 

3 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper

Garnishes :

1 stalk coriander
1 stalk spring onion
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

* Soak dried shrimps and dried mushrooms until soft , cut into small dices . Rinse and steam Chinese sausages over high heat for 5 minutes , let cool down a bit before cutting into small dices . Wash and dice spring onions and coriander .

* Wash , peel and grate turnip . Strain the juice and add water to make 400 ml , set aside .

* Sift rice flour and wheat flour in a mixing bowl and add in 400 ml water , mix until batter is lump-free and smooth .

* In a large pan , heat 1 tbsp oil , stir-fry diced sausages , mushrooms and shrimps . Transfer sausage mixture into the bowl with batter , stir to combine , set aside .

* In the same pan , add in the drained turnip and pour in the 400 ml turnip juice mixture , add in seasoning and cook , covered , for 5 to 8 minutes . Add in ginger juice and wine , mix well to combine , pour in the batter , mix and adjust taste , keep stirring until mixture thickens .

* Pour in the batter mixture into the greased tin(s) , smooth the top . Steam over high heat for 30-40 minutes . Take out from the wok and let cool down to room temperature ( it'll take several hours )  , ran a small knife gently around the sides of the pan and unmould the cake . Transfer into a serving plate , top with diced spring onions and coriander , sprinkle with sesame seeds . Cool turnip cake until firm .

* Cut into slices , pan-fry both sides until golden brown . Serve hot with chilli sauce or hoisin sauce .

* For fried turnip with XO sauce : Cut loh bak goh into 2 to 3-cm cubes , fry pieces until golden brown and the surface is crispy . Wipe off excess oil and add in 1 tbsp XO ( adjust amount according to preference and quantity of the pudding ) stir until pieces are evenly coated , add in some diced spring onion . Dish up and garnish with more diced spring onion and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds . Serve hot .

My half recipe : Makes one 6 x ( about ) 3-inch steamed cake 

588 grams ( peeled weight ) white turnip / radish
2 Chinese sausage
3 dried mushrooms
15 grams dried shrimps
2 teaspoons ginger juice
1 teaspoon Chinese wine
400 ml water ( radish juice included )
150 grams rice flour
20 grams wheat flour

Seasoning : 2 tsps raw sugar , 1/2 tsp sea salt , 1/2 tsp chicken powder , 1/2 tsp sesame oil and a generous dash of ground white pepper

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Baked matcha soufflé pancakes

Happy New Year , all !!! 

Better late than never , right ?! lol 

I've been deliciously-bombarded with lots of photos of thick pancakes on my newsfeed since last year as I haven't had homemade pancakes in years , why not try to make it ?! I've checked several recipes online and thought , who wants to pan-fry pancakes for more than 15 minutes ?! Definitely not me ! 

I stumbled upon one recipe that is baked and I'm pretty sure pancake purists are rolling their eyes hee hee ! Of course , unlike the same ol' same ol pancake recipe where you just combine everything together , quick-fry the batter and lo and behold , breakfast is ready ! This baked version though is a bit time-consuming and too much utensils to wash afterwards *sigh* 

But hey , no pain , no gain lol 

This Japanese café-style pancake is more like a chiffon cake but tastes almost like a steamed cake , moist , soft and jiggly . It doesn't look like much in the photos and on its own , a bit bland but served with good quality honey , butter , of course and some fresh sweet fruits , no wonder these pancakes are selling like hotcakes , no pun intended hee hee !

I used 2 sizes of moulds here ( I only listed one size below for reference ) and depending on how you make the batter , not over mixing it ( I'm talking to you , self ! Ha ! )  the texture and thickness may vary , see photo below . The tallest one that I made is almost 3-inches tall but a bit thinner than almost the 2-inch one . Click the link below for a detailed instructions and tips .

Recipe adapted from Washoku Guide

Makes 3 pancakes 

2 ( 64 grams each ) eggs , separated , at room temperature
20 grams sugar
40 grams milk
10 grams butter
30 grams cake flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3 grams Matcha powder

* Lightly grease 3 ( 3 1/4 x 1 1/2-inch ) mousse moulds and line sides with parchment papers ( parchment should be 1-inch higher than the mould ) . Place moulds onto a baking sheet .

* Combine butter and milk in a small bowl , melt over a pan of hot water , keep warm .

* Preheat oven to 180ºC with the prepared moulds inside , this to prevent the batter from leaking  from the mould when you pour it .

* Beat egg whites until frothy , add in sugar in one go , whisk until stiff peaks form  , set aside .

* In another bowl , whisk yolks until pale and creamy , mix in melted butter and whisk until mixture is frothy . Sift in cake flour , baking powder and matcha and lightly mix until combined .

* Add in the meringue in 3 batches , fold in lightly with a whisk or a spatula and mix until batter becomes smooth . Take out the moulds from the oven and pour in the batter evenly .

* Bake for 20 minutes . When done , take out from the oven and drop from a height of about 8 inches to remove trapped air . Remove pancakes from the mould and serve hot . Best served with a pat of butter , honey and fresh fruits .