Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Nick Malgiere's Perfect Banana ( Walnut ) Bread

I have been looking for another easy banana bread recipe that doesn't contain too  much butter . Most recipes online calls for at least 10 T butter :P . Last time , I baked banana bread using Emeril's recipe , it taste good but a little bit greasy , due, I guess , of using 10 T butter . This recipe only use 8 T , and the result ? , one of the best I'd eaten so far . I didn't have any walnuts , so I used 1/2 cup hazelnuts and half cup dessicated coconut . Putting those coconuts adds more texture and slight chewiness that I really like .

In his Bake ! book , Nick Malgiere quote's " There are only two secrets to making perfecr banana bread : Use very ripe bananas with spotted or darkened skin and measure the quantity of mashed bananas. All too often , home bakers mash a couple of bananas and just throw the resulting quantity into batter - and usually it's either too much or too little . I like to add some chopped walnuts for texture ; you could add raisins , currants , or even shredded sweetened coconut. "

Makes one 9x5x4 inch loaf ,  about 16 slices

2 1/3 cups all purpose flour ( spoon into a dry-measure cup and level off )
3/4 cup sugar
2 1/2 tsps baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups peeled , mashed bananas , about 3 medium
8 T ( 113 grams ) melted butter , unsalted
2 tsps vanilla extract
1 cup walnut pieces , coarsely chopped and tossed with 1 T flour

* Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C . Grease loaf pan and bottom lined with a parchment or buttered wax paper
* In a large mixing bowl , stir together the flour , sugar , baking powder and salt;
* In another bowl , whisk the eggs to break them up , then whisk in the bananas , butter and vanilla one at a time , whisking smooth between additions;
* Pour the liquids into the bowl of dry ingredients and use a large rubber spatula to fold them in . Fold in the floured walnuts;
* Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top;
* Bake the bread until it is well risen and gloden in color and the point of a pairing knife inserted in the center emerges clean , 55 to 60 minutes ( mine was 1 hr & 10 min )
* Cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes , then unmold , remove the paper and cool the loaf right side up

Monday, August 29, 2011

Savoury purses aka potsticker :D

Made it for lunch last saturday . It's also good adding it to your favorite noodle soup , if you don't like it fried .

Friday, August 26, 2011

Old-fashioned jam muffins

After the disappointing chocolate chip muffins that I baked few weeks ago , I baked another batch of muffins . This time , I tried Nick Malgiere recipe from his Bake ! book . It came out scrumptious , I guess , partly because I use cream instead of milk . I also forgot  to add lemon zest & vanilla but it didn't affect the end result :D . I just use half of the recipe .

All purpose muffins

Makes 12 standard-size muffins

2 cups all-purpose flour ( spoon into a dry measure cup and level off )
1/2 sugar
1 T baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
8 T ( 1 stick / 113 grams ) unsalted butter , melted and slightly cooled
1 large egg
1 cup milk

Other ingredients as per variations below :

Variations :

Blueberry muffins : Add 1 tsp grated lemon zest to the liquids . After mixing the batter , fold in 1 1 /2  cups rinsed , dried and picked-over blueberries . Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with 2 T sugar mixed with 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon right before baking .

Chocolate chip muffins : Add 2 tsp vanilla extract to the liquids . After mixing the batter , fold in 1 cup milk , semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips. . Sprinkle the tops of the muffins before baking with 2 T unflavored sugar .

Old-fashioned jam muffins : Add 2 tsp vanilla extract and 2 tsp finely grated lemon zest  to the liquids ; half fill the cavities in the muffin pans and drop 1 ( measuring ) teaspoon of your favorite jam or preserves in the centrer of the batter ; add the rest of the batter , being careful to cover the jam completely ( I didn't heh! )

How to :

* Preheat oven to 190°C .
* In a medium bowl , mix the flour , sugar , salt & baking powder ; set aside.
* Pour the butter into a mixing bowl and thoroughly whisk in the egg; then whisk in the milk .
* Whisk about 1/3 of the flour mixture into the liquid until liquid is absorbed . Whisk in another third, again until the liquid is absorbed . Use a rubber spatula to fold in the last of the flour mixture .
* Gently fold in any enhancements to the batter and distribute the batter into the muffin pan .
* Bake muffins until they are well risen and golden and the point of the knife inserted in the center of one emerges dry , about 20 mintues .
* Cool the muffins in the pan on a rack and lift them out only after they have cooled completely .

Some baked muffins few months past :D

                                                              Blueberry muffins


                                                    Mocha chunk muffins

Thursday, August 25, 2011

pasta ala me :D

Been wanting to cook pasta for a long time :P The last time I cook it was last April , and that's wayyyy too long for a pasta junkie like me : (  Actually , before I know how to cook rice I already know how to cook a mean pasta :D And it was a long time ago during our Home Economics class , when my classmate washed the already minced pork to be used for our spaghetti with tomato sauce , you could imagine the look in our teacher's face hee hee Pasta in the Philippines before ( most notably in our household ), usually means spaghetti cooked with tomato sauce , mince pork & some hotdog ( sausages ) or with white sauce ,( popularized by then the late Corazon Aquino during that Christmas aeons ago :D ) she used Nestle cream  , I guess , for her sauce base ( I was young hee hee at the time ) and macaroni for our fruit salad . I don't know why they usually add macaroni to the fruit salad , which I didn't really like :P  But now we have different kind of pasta there , from fettucine , linguine , penne , fusilli , lasagna the list goes on and on . But my 1st love :D would be the spaghetti . This is the only dish , I guess , that I wouldn't need to google to check out the ingredients hahahaha

easy spaghetti with tomato sauce :

I didn't measure some ingredients , after all the result is how you like it

*400 grams spaghetti
*1 can ( 495 grams ) tomato sauce or you can use fresh tomato
*200 grams minced pork
*a pack of bacon  ( I use 200 grams ), fried then sliced , or you can use ham , sausage , cooked /roasted chicken
*some chopped shallots or onions
*some minced garlic
* some ketchup
* some chopped fresh coriander , basil ( I use dried ) , chili flakes , black pepper
* some sugar & salt to taste
* some grated cheese , loads of it , if you luv it :D
*some olive oil

how to :

*Boil pasta according to the manufacturer's instruction ;
*Start by frying onions , then add garlic ;
*When the garlic turns golden brown , add minced pork , stir until cook through & add salt , sugar & pepper ;
* Add tomato sauce & ketchup , stir for a while then add grated cheese & bacon ; adjust taste ;
* Lastly , add coriander , basil & chilli flakes ;
*Serve with grated cheese on top , if desired ;

Here's the one I baked few months ago :P

pasta with salmon in white ( cream ) sauce

Baked !

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Double chocolate chip muffins

And yet another baking session :D After the scrumptious mocha chunk cookies few days ago , I baked another with chocolates in it . These muffins didn't satisty my sweet tooth though :P , if not for the chocolates , I guess it will taste bland ( or maybe it's just me hee hee ). Come to think of it , there's only 125 grams of sugar added to 400 grams of flour . Maybe next time , I should add more sugar tsk tsk Recipe adapted from this  book

Double chocolate chip muffins

Makes 16

400 grams / 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 T baking powder
2 T unsweetened cocoa powder
115 grams/ 3/4 cup muscovado sugar
2 eggs
150 ml / 2/3 cup sour cream
150 ml milk
60 ml / 4 T sunflower oil
175 grams white chocolate
175 grams semisweet chocolate

* Preheat oven to 190 °C . Place 16 muffin cases in muffin tins.
* Sift flour, baking powder and cocoa into a bowl and stir in sugar. Make a well in the center.
* In a separate bowl , beat the eggs with sour cream , milk and oil, then stir into the well in the dry ingredients .
* Beat well , gradually incorporating the flour mixture to make a thick and creamy batter.
* Add the white and semisweet chocolates into the batter . Spoon into the muffin cases , filling them almost to the top .
* Bake for 23-25 minutes or until well risen and firm . Allow to cool in the wire rack . Sprinkle with cocoa powder ,  if desired .

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Mrs Fields' Mocha Chunk Cookies

I've been sitting in front of the computer thinking what to write . I'm not much of a writer , though I love reading books & magazines , I have to drag each word everytime I had to write in this blog *sigh* Note that this blog have more photos ? That's why ! No words :P :D But hey , a picture speaks a thousand words hee hee So anyway , I got this recipe sitting around and gathering dust :P , been meaning to bake it , say , few YEARS ago ? ^-^" The cookie batter reminds me of Haagen Dazs coffee ice cream , my absolute fave :D  Recipe from this book Mrs Fields Cookie Book

Mocha Chunk Cookies

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp ( french roast or other dark coffee ) instant coffee granules
2 tsp coffee liqueur
1 cup white sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar , packed
1 cup salted butter , softened
2 large eggs
2 cups semisweet chocolate ( chips or chunks ) - I use a cup each of white & milk chocolate chips

* Preheat oven to 150°C.
* In a medium bowl , combine flour , cocoa , soda & salt . Mix well with a wire whisk and set aside.
* In a small bowl , dissolve coffee granules in coffee liqueur , set aside .
* In a large bowl, blend sugars with an electric mixer at medium speed. Add butter and mix to form a grainy paste . Scrape down the side of the bowl. Then add eggs and coffee mixture , beat at medium speed until smooth.
* Add flour mixture and chocolate chips/chunks , and blend at low speed just until combined . Do not overmix.
* Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls into ungreased cookie sheet , 2 inches apart . Bake for 23-25 minutes . Immediately ( I didn't, cookies still wet at the bottom after I took it out from the oven  ) transfer cookies with a spatula to a cool , flat surface .

Yield 4 dozen ( mine's only 40 pcs , though some of it are huge :D )

Monday, August 1, 2011

easy peasy mango milkshake

Nothing much to blog except rant about the stifling heat tsk tsk & instead of buying frappe outside ( expensive ^o^' ) I made a milkshake . During summer , when I buy milk , I usually put it in the freezer so that if I have that urge to make something cold and refreshing  ,  all I have to do is to dump 3 or 4 ingredients in the blender and few minutes later you have this wonderful icy concoction to beat the summer heat ..... for a while , anyway hahahaha

All you need :

a cup of frozen milk
a mango or two
a teaspoon of sugar
mango essence ( optional )

Dump it all in the blender for a quick whiz . Enjoy . Slurp :D