Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Banana Cake

I love eating banana but with so much to go around and I'm the only who loves to eat it here  -__-'' there are always some few pieces left  . So after few days and tired of eating it everyday , I just ignore it and when there are some brown polka dots on them , it's time to bake it . The chocolate layer cake that I've been dreaming of ,will take a back seat , for now tsk !

Baking , I guess is the main purpose behind buying a bunch of banana  hahaha

This is a cupcake recipe but I baked it in a cake pan .

Recipe from Martha Stewart's Cupcakes

My substitution in red ( I halve the recipe )

Banana - Pecan Cupcakes

Makes 28

3 cups sifted cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
4 very ripe large bananas , mashed ( about 2 cups )
3/4 cup buttermilk ( I used a homemade one )
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup ( 1 1/2 sticks ) unsalted butter , room temp ( 100 grams )
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar ( 1/2 cup ) 
3 large eggs , room temperature ( 2 eggs ) 
1 cups pecans ( about 4 oz ) coarsely chopped ( walnuts )
1/3 cup bittersweet chocolate chips 

* Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C  . Line standard muffin tins with paper liners .
* Whisk together cake flour , baking soda , baking powder , salt and cinnamon . In another bowl , whisk together bananas , buttermilk and vanilla.
* With an electric mixer on medium-high speed , cream the butter and brown sugar until pale and fluffy . Add eggs , one at a time , beating until each is incorporated , scraping down sides as needed . Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture in two batches , alternating with banana mixture and beating until just combined after each  . Stir in pecans by hand .
* Divide batter evenly among cups , filling each about three-quarters full . Bake for about 20 minutes . I baked mine in a 9 1/2-inch cake pan for about 40 minutes .

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Triple Chocolate & Espresso Fudge Cookies

I've been dreaming of chocolate layered cake for quiet sometime but too lazy to make it yet pftttttt

But for now , these triple dose of chocolate cookies will  do .

Recipe from Sherry Yard's The Secrets of Baking

My substitution in red

Makes about 3 dozen cookies

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 stick / 113 grams cold unsalted butter , cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar ( 1/2 cup ) 
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons tightly packed light brown sugar ( 1/2 cup )
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 large egg , at room temperature
1/2 cup 1/2-inch chunks white chocolate ( 1 cup white chocolate chips )
1/2 cup 1/2-inch chunks bittersweet chocolate ( 1 cup bittersweet chips )
3 tablespoon instant espresso powder

* Sift together flour , cocoa powder and baking soda ( and coffee if using ) into a bowl and set aside .
* Using stand mixer or hand mixer , cream butter on medium speed until pale yellow , about 2 minutes . Scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle . Add the sugars , salt and vanilla . Cream on medium speed until smooth and lump free , about 1 minute .
* Add the egg and beat on low speed or until fully incorporated . On low speed add the flour mixture ; beat until all dry ingredients are well combined . Add the white and dark choco chunks and mix until they are fully incorporated . If using a hand mixer , use a wooden spoon to stir them in .
* If you want to bake them in right away , preheat oven to 350°F/180°C . Spoon dough by heaped teaspoons 2 inches apart onto baking sheet with parchment paper.  Bake for 12 to 15 minutes .
* If not baking right away ,  remove  small handfuls of dough from the bowl and plop them down in the middle of a sheet of parchment paper , creating a log about 2 inches wide and 12 inches long ; fold the parchment over , creating a sausage . Chill at least an hour before removing it from the paper and using a serrated knife , slice 1/3-inch-thick-rounds off the log and bake .

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Gon Chow Ngau Ho

Or my take on this typical Cantonese dish . I should just write stir fried beef ho fan but I like the sound of gon chau ngau ho -__-''

This is one Chinese dish that I can say with straight face and the Chinese staff who takes my order understand it right away without me saying it repeatedly hee hee

I usually wash ho fan aka rice noodle as it's a bit oily and this time I didn't . Second , avoid stirring it too much , a minimal toss and turn will do or the noodles will break into pieces . A non-stick pan is really a great help or if you're using a stainless steel pan or a wok , be sure to high heat .

Some of the beef ho fan that I ate tend to be very greasy so I used as little oil as possible . I also used soy bean sprouts and it takes more time to cook but I love its texture in this dish .

550 grams fresh wide rice noodles
100 grams beef slices
3 pieces beef balls , cut
150 grams soy beans sprout , rinse and drain
1 stalk celery and 1 red chili , sliced thinly
3 shallots
1 clove minced garlic
some salt and white pepper
some spring onion

For the sauce :

Mix together 1 T dark soy sauce , 1/2 tsp light soy , 1 tsp brown sugar , 1/2 tsp chicken powder , 1 T chili garlic sauce , 5 T water , a dash of white pepper and a generous pinch of salt .

* In a non-stick pan , heat a little bit oil and fry onion and garlic until fragrant ; add in the beef , fry until it changes color ; transfer to a plate , keep warm .
* In the same pan , ( no need to add oil ) stir fry the sprouts , add some water , cover and cook  for at least 5 minutes . Add the beef balls , celery and chili and cook for another 2 minutes ; transfer to a plate , keep warm .
* Wipe or wash the pan ; heat about 1 tablespoon of oil , swirl to coat the pan , add the noodles and stir fry gently as needed , about 4 minutes , don't worry if the noodles clumps together , when you add the sauce it will just separate . Add the beef and the beansprout mixture , stir to combine ; add the sauce , mix thoroughly until well combined . Toss in the spring onion . Give another good stir and dish up . Serve hot .

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Eat your greens !

And stop complaining coz it's stir fry again ! hahahaha

The greens in this dish are leftover from my last dish and haven't used them all . I'm planning to throw it as I usually do but to stop my conscience from bothering me , you know , unnecessary waste as some people can't eat properly thingie yada yada  -__-'' So , another excuse to make stir fries , again

As this site is full of stir fry dishes already , one more is not a problem hee hee Most ingredients are just the same ol' same ol  as most of my previous concoctions .

It's easy , simple , healthy and most of all CHEAP . A small portion of this cost more in some of the resto around , so better make your own er if you have time or inclination ? ^__*

1 piece firm white fish , fresh or frozen
some Chinese kale stalk
some string beans
1 small yellow bell pepper
1 red chili
1 spiced dried tofu
3 shallots
1 tsp ginger , finely chopped
1 clove garlic , minced
1 tsp olive sauce , optional
1 tsp chili bean sauce
some ground white pepper and salt

Mix 1/2 tsp cornstarch , 3 T water , some brown sugar , white pepper and 1/2 tsp light sauce
***** This is a fairly dry dish and if you want more sauce just add more water to the above mixture .

* Cut / slice all ingredients . Season fish slices with some salt , brown sugar , white pepper , few drops of sesame oil and 1/2 tablespoon of cornstarch . Set aside .
* Boil some water and add few drops of oil and some salt  , dump in kale stalks and string beans , about 1 minutes . Drain well and set aside .
* Heat some oil in a non-stick pan , add the fish slices , fry until golden brown . Transfer to a plate ; keep warm
* In the same pan , wipe off excess oil with a paper towel . Fry shallots until transparent then add in garlic and ginger ; fry until garlic turns light brown . Add all the veggies , dried tofu , olive sauce and bean sauce ; stir fry for 2 minutes , then season with salt and pepper . Add the cornstarch and water mixture ; mix well until mixture thickens ; give another good stir . Dish up . Take photos . Serve hot . Enjoy !

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

No drooling allowed

With all the books that I borrowed lately , one would think that I will bake other cakes uhm besides cheesecakes ? Not ! hahahaha

When our resident not-so picky eater , requested (again ) to bake a cake for her other friend's birthday , I did make another cheesecake hee hee . Note that she said cake not cheesecake -she initially asked for a tiramisu , but after the failed tiramisu last time and more than a hundred bucks going down the drain , I'm  not ready to spend her hard-earned moolah to buy the freakin' expensive marcarpone tsk tsk

So , another cheesecake because that's what I want to bake . Besides I want to see how would the color of the swirled strawberry sauce fared after baking . Not so vibrant . But I have some nice swirls hahaha

Recipe from Martha Stewart Cupcakes book and from my last cheesecake cupcakes

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Blueberry Speckled Loaf Cake

I'm planning to call this " marbled " loaf cake but my pureed blueberries came out speckled not marbled hee hee

It's either my pureed blueberries' too thin or I just didn't know how to do it heh ! 

That blueberry pieces and white chocolate on top , I added that after 30 minutes of baking as I'd forgotten to add that to my batter pfttttt

That said , it came out moist and bursting with blueberries er in the middle , that is , since I shoved most of those in the middle of the loaf only hahaha

What I like about this recipe is that you don't have to use an electric beater /handheld mixer so it saves a little time on cleaning up . 

Recipe from my fave mag Better Homes and Gardens , US ed , November 2011

Milk Chocolate Marble Loaf Cake 

4 large eggs at room temp
1 1/2 cup sugar ( I used a generous 3/4 cup )
6 tablespoon / 84 grams unsalted butter , melted
1/2 cup whole milk
2 tsp vanilla ( 1 tsp )
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3 oz milk chocolate ( 90 grams pureed blueberries plus 40 grams whole blueberries ) 
30 grams white chocolate chips 

* Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C . Butter and flour a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan .
* In a medium bowl , whisk together the eggs , sugar , butter , milk and vanilla . In another bowl , combine the flour , baking powder and salt .
* In a small saucepan with some simmering water , place a bowl and add the chocolate ; stir with spatula until it melts . Remove from heat .
* Stir the flour into the egg mixture until just combined ( I whisked mine until I got a fairly smooth batter ) . Transfer about 1/3 of the batter ( a generous cup ) to a separate bowl . Stir the melted chocolate into the smaller amount of batter , mixing well . Drop 1/4 cup of the plain batter into the prepared pan and top with 2 T chocolate batter . Repeat with remaining batter . Do not stir .
* Bake for about 65 minutes or until the cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean .

***My substitution in red 

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Stir Fried String Beans with Minced Pork , Tofu and Preserved Kale in Olive Oil

click at your own risk ! 

This is a popular dish served in most restaurant here . Sans tofu .

I made this kind of dish from to time but without using this preserved kale in olive oil . 'tis the first time that I used this condiment -but not the first time to try it as some noodle shop add it as a garnish to their noodles - and was quiet surprised how it transformed my same ol' same ol' stir fried string beans to something much more appetizing .

When you open the bottle you might say ekkkkk as the color's beyond description heh ! but it smells okay .

Omit , substitute and adjust , your choice .

200 grams string beans ,  trim ends ( remove strings at the side if necessary ) and cut
100 grams ground pork
1 block firm tofu , wipe dry , cubed and sprinkle with cornstarch before frying
1 tsp finely chopped ginger
1 clove garlic , minced
1 shallot , sliced
2 tsp preserved kale in olive oil
1/4 tsp chicken powder , optional
2 tsp chili bean sauce
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp oyster sauce
1 tsp cornstarch , 5 tablespoon water , 1 tsp light soy sauce and a dash of ground white pepper mix together

* Add some oil in a pan , stir fry beans until wrinkled and soft . Transfer to a plate ; keep warm .
* In the same pan , add a little bit more oil , fry shallot until transparent , add in garlic and ginger , stir fry until fragrant . Add in the pork , fry until lightly brown , season with chicken powder , sugar and a dash of ground white pepper . Add in the beans and tofu . Stir well ; add in the chili bean sauce and preserved kale sauce , mix thoroughly ; pour in the cornstarch mixture . Mix well until sauce thickens , give another good stir . Dish up . Serve warm and with rice .

Preserved kale in olive oil

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Just what the Doctor ordered

click it ! 

The fruits ! Not the cheesecake ! lol

'nuff said !

Our resident not-so picky eater requested a cake for her best friend's birthday .

And because cheesecake's the easiest to make and you could dressed it up or down , so there !

Recipe here except I used 1/3 cup sugar and for the crust , I used 60 grams earl grey butter cookie crumbs + 30 grams honey graham cracker crumbs and 30 grams melted butter . I also spread some melted jam on top of the cheesecake .

calorific cheesecake with fresh fruits topping