Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Easy Toffee Popcorn

Not the Korean drama again pfffttttt lol 

I don't know about you but I just love popcorn .

The popcorn that's being sold in the cinemas here's really quiet good .

The downside ? 'tis quiet expensive ...

The price is almost the same as the movie ticket er the morning showing , that is ! lol   

I seldom buy it , of course , me being cheap hee hee

So when I saw this popcorn recipe from one of the foodie magazine , I knew I had to make it .

And yup , it does tastes like the one I had in the cinema ! 

So , what's your fave popcorn flavor ?! 

Recipe from my fave mag , Good Housekeeping Magazine , UK , Nov 2011

1 tbsp oil 
100 grams corn kernels
100 grams butter
100 grams brown sugar
4 tbsp golden syrup , such as Lyle's

* Heat oil over high heat in a large , deep pan ( with a deep fitting lid ) ; add corn kernels , stir and put on the lid . When kernels starts popping , shake pan to encourage all the kernels to pop without scorching . Set aside .
* Melt butter , sugar and syrup in a large pan or wok ; bring to a boil and leave to bubble for 3-5 minutes . Add popcorn and turn to coat . Spread on to baking sheet with parchment paper and leave to cool .

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Pan-fried Beancurd Skin Rolls

I'm always lurking from blog to blog looking for some inspiration , okay , some food to drool over ! lol

As if borrowing several cook books and back issue foodie magazines from our local libraries are not enough .

So when I saw Lena's mouth watering prawn rolls and thought maybe I could make some dim sum using bean curd skin , too .

I have this easy and simple recipe that I clipped from one of the free Chinese dailies  .

And there's this ongoing yummy dimsumania event that I've been eyeing since early this month and I'm glad that I've a dish so I can join in the fun ! ! ^-^'

Recipe from The Headline Daily

1 sheet beancurd skin
120 grams , chicken fillet
3 pieces dried shiitake mushrooms , soaked until soft
80 grams carrot
40 grams yellow Chinese chives
2 tsps egg white

Seasoning :
1/4 tsp sugar
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp oyster sauce
1/2 tsp caltrop starch , you can use cornstarch/tapioca flour /arrowroot flour
1 tablespoon water
few drops of sesame oil
pinch of ground white pepper
I added 1 tsp chili sauce

Marinade for chicken :
1/4 tsp salt
 1 tsp oil
1/2 tsp caltrop starch
pinch of ground white pepper

* Wipe the beancurd skin on both sides with a clean towel ; trim off hard edges and cut into 8 pieces .
* Rinse chicken fillet , sliced thinly and add marinade and mix well ; set aside for 30 minutes .
* Cut mushrooms and carrots into thin slices ; cut chives into shirt lengths .
* Heat some oil in a wok and stir fry the mushrooms and carrots until fragrant . Put in the chicken and stir fry until done . Add seasoning and mix thoroughly ; put in the chives and mix well . Dish up ( I added a handful of chopped cilantro ) and leave to cool .
* Lay flat a piece of beancurd skin and place some filling on top , fold into a rectangular parcel ; seal with egg whites . Repeat with the remaining  ingredients .Shallow fry over low heat until golden brown .
* Serve hot .

I'm submitting this post to Aspiring Bakers # 19 : Dim Sum Affair hosted by Small small baker .

The filling , you can use spring roll wrapper if beancurd skin's not available .

Yellow Chinese chives

Beancurd skin  

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Spaghetti with Shrimp and Sardines

Been meaning to make this for few weeks now but got sidetracked .

Like making ice cream and cookies , perhaps ?! lol

Bought two canned sardines just for this dish but you know how it is ......

Opening a can if you're too lazy to cook something for yourself .

That's the purpose of canned goods , right ? heh !

Good thing I stopped her laziness or another steamed sardines with rice , again !

Who wants to see photos of steamed sardines over rice , anyway ?! ^-^''

350 grams spaghetti
150 grams shrimp , shelled and deveined
1 can / 125 grams , Portuguese sardines in olive oil or any sardines in oil
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 small yellow bell pepper , cut
1 small red bell pepper
2 shallots , sliced
2 cloves garlic , minced
1/2 tsp chili flakes
a handful of cilantro , chopped
1/2 tsp brown sugar
some black pepper and salt
1/3 cup pasta water
some grated parmesan cheese , for sprinkling

* Boil pasta ; reserve some pasta water .
* In a large pan , add 1 tablespoon olive oil and add in the shallots , fry until soft then add in garlic ; fry until it turns lightly brown .
* Add in  the peppers , cook for 2 minutes , add in the shrimps and a dash of black pepper , cook until shrimps turns pink ; add in the sardines and chili flakes ; gently stir together with the rest of the ingredients ; add in the sugar , and salt .
* Add  in the pasta and the pasta water , stir thoroughly then add in the cheese and chopped cilantro ; adjust taste and mix well to combine . Transfer to a plate and sprinkle with some parmesan cheese . Immediately take some photos so that you can eat it while it's still hot .

Monday, May 21, 2012

Ladurée's Dark Chocolate Ice Cream

I've been too lazy to blab er blog lately ....

Or should I say , nothing new to post since the food I've been cooking were the same ol same ol these last few days .

But as always , I've got loads of books here from the library , okay okay , most of it are ice cream books lol

That's just an excuse to make ice cream more likely . Hey , 'tis summer and who can resists some icy concoctions ? Not me !

I borrowed this Ladurée book few weeks ago and kept drooling over their macarons . Initially , I can't bear to look at their macs hahahahaha Now , don't smirk but I'm on my 7th feet less macs , so don't blame me pfffttttt hee hee I'm still gearing myself up for another macs session , hopefully with feet this time *fingers crossed* ^-^'' But for now it's another ice cream because that's the easiest and foolproof recipe in this book lol

Or maybe I should call this blog , ice cream central , uhm , just this summer ?

Glace au Chocolat Noir , recipe from Ladurée : Sucré the recipes

Makes 1 quart / 1 litre

200 grams chocolate , minimum 70% cocoa solids
1/2 cup + 1 tbsp /100 ml water
2 cups + 2 tbsp / 500 ml whole milk
3 egg yolks
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp / 120 grams sugar

* Using a knife , chop the chocolate on a cutting board . In a saucepan , bring the water and milk to a boil . Remove from heat .

* In a large bowl , whisk the yolks and sugar until slightly pale ; pour a third of the hot milk over the yolks and sugar mixture ( to temper the yolks )   . Stir together with a whisk and pour the whole mixture back into the saucepan .

* Cook over low heat , stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until the custard thickens . It should coat the spoon when ready ; if you run your finger down the back of the spoon , the custard  should not run back into the line . Important : the custard should never come to a boil ; it should cook at a maximum of 185°F / 85° C .

* As soon as the custard has this consistency , remove from heat and add the chopped chocolate to stop the cooking . Pour into a large bowl and continue to stir for 5 minutes so that the custard stays smooth Refrigerate until chilled .

* Pour the mixture into the ice cream maker and process according to manufacturer's instructions . Transfer to an airtight container and freeze for at least 3 hours or overnight .

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Espresso Gelato

This is for All AWESOME MOMS out there ! HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY !!!!!!!! Hope you'll  have an enjoyable day or week or so by telling the kids and hubby to do all the housework from now on ! lol 

It's another gelato , folks !

Now , don't think that I'm addicted to coffee ! Pish posh !  Actually , I'm attending coffeeholics anonymous ! lol 

Making gelato , according to wiki , is somewhat the same thing as making ice cream at home .

Lighter than ice cream ?  It depends I guess on the ingredients or recipe you're using .

But don't worry , as long as it's tastes great , who cares ? What's in a name anyway ?

Though gelato sounds sexier than ice cream ! lol

If you're going to ask , am I using whole milk ?! Of course , but it's UHT  , the whole milk I can find near us is only that ! Besides its cheap ! I know gelato purist will shudder at the thought of using uht milk but don't worry , we plebeain can use what is available to us ! lol

The ice cream I made before and my pistachio gelato last time , I just churned those for about 20 minutes or so and some for 40 minutes tops . But I churned this batch for an hour .Why churned it for too long ? Instead of using the same amount of milk and cream , I reduced the cream to just 100 ml and added more milk for a more lighter gelato . So after 40 minutes of churning the mixture , 'twas still a little too soft to my liking  and another 20 minutes sure makes a difference .

The verdict ? I'm happy as a clam ! lol

This one's for my Mom! Happy Mother's Day , Nanay ! ♥♥♥ She's all for sharing , so I started by eating her share ! hahahhaha 

Gelato Al Caffe ( This recipe makes about 1.3 litres/ 2 1/4 pints / 5 1/2 cups of liquid , so it will need to be churned in 2 batches ) 

Recipe from Ices Italia

Serves 12 

I halve the recipe and my slight modification in red 

80 grams / 2 3/4 oz finely ground coffee 
400 ml / 1 3/4 cups boiling water
8 egg yolks
125 grams / scant 2/3 cups soft brown sugar ( 60 grams ) 
pinch of salt
500 ml / 2 cups full cream ( whole ) milk ( 400 ml )
500 ml / cups whipping cream ( 100 ml )
1 tsp good quality vanilla extract , such as Madagascar Bourbon ( don't worry , cheap one's fine hee hee ) 

* Put coffee into a cafetiere and pour boiling water . Leave to stand fro 15 minutes before pushing down the plunger as far as it will go . Transfer to a bowl and leave to cool . I got about 125 ml liquid 
* Whisk the egg yolks , sugar and salt together in  a large heatproof bowl until pale in color . Pour the cream and milk into a saucepan and heat slowly until small bubbles appear around the edge of the pan . Pour into the egg yolk mixture and stir well .
* Pour mixture back into the pan and cook over a medium heat , stirring constantly for about 8-10 minutes .  I just cook mine for about 2 minutes  When some of the foam disappears from the surface , place the candy thermometer in the pan and continue to stir until the temp reads 75°C/167°F . I don't have a candy thermometer yet , but in this case , it's not really necessary to use it Do not let the mixture get any hotter or custard will curdle . Add coffee and vanilla , pour into a bowl to cool , then chill in the fridge  for 30 minutes
* Churn using an ice cream maker , until thick . Transfer to a freezer proof  container , cover and freeze for 1 1/2 - 2 hours before serving . 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Yup ! yet another Triple Chocolate and Espresso Fudge Cookies

Summer's definitely here coz my white chocolate stash are already melting ugh !

I usually move it to a much more cooler place during summer since we moved here *sigh* but as our flat don't have much space anymore pffftttt it will be in the fridge for the rest of the summer er not really ! 

Yup , another of these cookies again ! Most of these cookies are already in the air , travelling to US with the 3 chigels' mom ^-^'' Lucky cookies pffftttt lol But I got some stash , too ! Hey ! I'm the who baked it ! 

So , when you compare these cookies to the other , only some white chocolate in these ones are whole , most of it are gooey because it's already melting when I added it to the dough hahahaha So it's refrigerator arrest for these chocolates then , that is , until needed .......

As I said before , I'm being very generous in my baked goodies these past few weeks , besides adding in a very very generous 3 tablespoonful of instant espresso , I also added 1/2 tsp Kahlua er I should had add more pffftttt But I'm afraid the 3 chigels will be arrested , driving under influence , while eating a more boozy cookies  lol 

Please click triple chocolate and espresso fudge cookies for recipe .

How would I describe these cookies ?! It's crispy and chewy , fudgy and gooey and everything else I just can't describe . Okay , one word , scrumptiousness hee hee 

I think my butterscotch chips are melting , too ........

Friday, May 4, 2012

Pistachio Gelato

Straight from Anne's gelateria ! lol

It's about 10 am and 29°C . It's only May pffftttt

I'm bracing myself for a more sweaty days ahead .

And more ice cream .

Or gelato .

What's the difference ?!

Go google it ! lol

I've made some pistachio ice cream last time . Compare to this gelato recipe , the color of the last one was much more greener . I've used different roasted pistachios . This concoction is much more denser , too . Nearly equal proportion of milk and cream , a little bit more pistachios but no eggs . More like a Philadelphia-style ice cream .

But eggs are use in making gelato . And I thought otherwise . Read more lah !

Of course , don't expect using an ice cream maker will get you that Italian gelateria-style results . You need to go to Italy or buy a gelato maker , which is quiet expensive , by the way . But if you have some money leaking out from your pocket er wallet , go ahead and buy it . Buy me one , too ! lol

I'm planning to make the espresso gelato but I need to use all my pistachios that's been sitting around , looking forlorn .

Gelato di pistaccchio , recipe from Ices Italia

Serves 6-8 ( I halve the recipe )

160 grams / generous 1 cup pistachio nuts . toasted , skins rubbed off and cooled
150 grams/ 3/4 cup caster ( superfine ) sugar
350 ml / 1 1/2 cups full-cream ( whole ) milk
300 ml / 1 1/4 cups double ( heavy ) cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

* Put the nuts and caster sugar into a food processor and process until very finely ground . Leave in the machine .
* Put the milk and cream in a saucepan and heat gently until bubbles start to appear around the sides of the pan . Pour a little of this mixture onto the pistachios and process again . Add a little more of liquid and continue in the same way until all milk mixture has been used up . Process until very fine . Add vanilla and tip into a large bowl and cool and macerate for few hours . If you want a coarse texture just pour the liquid over finely ground mixture in the processor and process briefly .
* Churn using an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions . Transfer  to a freezer-proof container , cover and freeze for 3 hours before serving . I freeze mine overnight .
* If you don't have an ice cream maker , you can freeze the mixture for 40 minutes to 1 hour till half frozen ; use a spoon to scrape the mixture  and beat it with a handheld mixer until smooth but not melted , repeat this 2 to 3 times , every 40 minutes or so , to improve texture . Freeze for 3 to 4 hours or overnight before serving .