Sunday, December 30, 2012

Chocolate marble cake

Okay , you can't really see the chocolate swirls in the cake but it's there , somewhere ! lol

This pound cake is supposed to be baked in a loaf pan but I've been itching to use my bundt pan so ...

I never thought how little the batter in this recipe if you use a bundt pan ! It barely hit 1/3 of my 9-inch bundt pan  !

I just crossed my fingers and hope for the best ....

But as you can see , it turned out well ! Not bad for my first bake using bundt pan . The bottom though is not flat . And I've forgotten to add the melted chocolate in the batter so no visible marbling except at the bottom .....

In the recipe , no baking powder is added but just in case it's a typo error ( it's not , by the way ! ) I've  added some .

This is a classic pound cake recipe .....

So use the best butter you can get  .

It really goes well with my mocha ice cream and espresso fudge sauce ^___^''

Recipe adapted from Bocuse in your kitchen

My slight modification in red

2 large eggs
2/3 cup ( 120 grams ) granulated sugar
1 scant cup ( 125 grams ) flour
1 stick ( 120 grams ) softened butter , plus butter for the mold
a pinch of salt
1 3/4 oz ( 50 grams ) semi-sweet chocolate ( milk and bittersweet chocolate combo )
1/2 tsp baking powder

* Preheat oven to 400°F / 200°C . Lightly butter a 9 1/2-inch loaf  or a 24 cm cake pan  and set aside .
* Melt chocolate in a double boiler .
* Beat eggs and sugar in a mixing bowl until smooth and a pale yellow in color , then sift in the flour . Whisk in the softened butter and the salt ; the batter should be smooth .
* Pour melted chocolate over the batter then barely stir it in . Pour batter in the prepared pan and smooth the surface and bake for 45 minutes .
* Turn the mold upside-down on a cake rack to cool as soon you take the cake from the oven but don't lift it off until it has cool completely .

The bottom's a beaut , isn't it ?! 

Friday, December 28, 2012

Mocha ice cream with espresso fudge sauce

Hey guys !

How was everyone's Christmas ?!

Me ?! I'm not busy but I'm too lazy to bake/cook anything these past few days ! pfffffttt

So no bakes , no photos ergo no blog posts but hey ! I've been too busy salivating at everyone's blog anyway

So , I'm checking out the content of our freezer , nothing much in there except several kinds of flour and my ice cream maker insert .....

Before packing my ice cream maker for a well-needed rest heh! , why not make one last  ice cream this year ?

I got loads of ground coffee and that's really a good excuse to make it ....

Did I say ice cream ?!

Yup ! I'm eating my words !

Remember that it's winter here and no heater in our flat ?

Just picture me eating ice cream at home , in front of the computer - wearing winter clothes , thick socks , gloves , scarf and beanie while lurking at your blog !

Coffee and chocolate ?!

'nuff said !

Hohoho !

2 1/2 cups whole milk
1 cup whipping cream
4 tablespoons ground coffee
2 tablespoons instant espresso
2/3 cup raw sugar
2 egg yolks
60 grams bittersweet chocolate

* In a small saucepan , pour milk and add in the ground coffee , cook for 5 minutes , don't let the mixture boil .Turn off heat and let steep for 10 to 15 minutes .
* Whisk the yolks and 1/3 cup of sugar until light and fluffy .
* Strain the milk and ground coffee mixture , using a fine sieve and return to the pan , pour in the cream , espresso powder and the raw sugar and bring to a boil . Pour some of the mixture to the beaten yolks , whisking while pouring to prevent yolks from curdling . Pour back the mixture to the saucepan , cook without boiling , stirring constantly until mixture thickens .Put chocolate in a small bowl and pour some of the custard/mixture , enough to cover the chocolate , let stand for about a minute or so before stirring . Stir the chocolate and milk mixture until smooth then add it to the saucepan , mixing well to combine . Transfer the mixture to a heatproof jug or bowl , let cool and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight .
* Churn mixture in an ice cream maker . Transfer mixture to a freezer-proof container and freeze overnight before serving .

Espresso fudge sauce , recipe adapted from  Sweet cream and sugar cones

Makes about 1 cup

1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup Dutch-processed cocoa
1 oz/ 30 grams / scant 1/4 cup , bittersweet chocolate , finely chopped
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup freshly-brewed espresso or very strong coffee
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

* Combine cocoa powder , chopped chocolate and salt in a medium heat-proof bowl . Set aside.
* Mix water and sugar in a small saucepan ; put pan over medium-high heat , cook until sugar is completely dissolved . Remove from heat .
* Pour the sugar syrup over the chocolate and let stand without stirring for 1 to 2 minutes ; whisk until smooth and slowly add in the espresso and vanilla .

*** I was quiet concern at first when the fudge turn out too thin so I cooked it again for a minute  , let mixture boil for 30 seconds . It was still thin after that but after a night in the fridge  , it turned thick and glossy . I think , maybe , even without cooking it the second time , it'll thicken after chilling .  Serve over ice cream , pancake/waffle or everything that needs chocolate sauce . In my opinion , this is the bestest fudge sauce around .

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Chicken jook ( congee ) / Chicken rice porridge

It's cold , windy and gloomy in our side of the world .....

What could be better than this hearty rice porridge ?!

This is my take on both arroz caldo ( Filipino-style congee  ) and the Cantonese jook .....

Flavorsome with light , creamy texture , this simple and easy one-dish meal is sure to please anyone looking for some homey and comforting meal in this gloomy weather ....

1/2 cup ( rice cooker cup or a scant cup if using 1/2 measuring cup ) jasmine rice
2 liters / 8 1/2 cups water ( if using broth omit the chicken powder )
5 pieces chicken ( mid-joint) wings or use breast , thigh or leg
a generous teaspoon of finely chopped ginger
1 clove  garlic , minced
1 small shallot , finely chopped

some coarse salt
a generous dash of ground white pepper
1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon chicken powder

To serve :

2 boiled egg , sliced
1 stick yau ja gwai or you tiao ( deep fried Chinese pastry )
some sliced spring onion

* Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat , add in the garlic , ginger and shallot , stir fry until fragrant . Add the chicken , cook for about 2 minutes then add in the rice . Stir well to combine , about a minute .
* Pour in the water , let boil and cook over medium low heat for an 1 hour and 10 minutes , stirring from time to time to prevent the rice from sticking at the bottom . Don't forget to put a pair of chopstick ( or whatever that is available for you to use ) on parallel between the pot and the lid , so that some of the steam escape and the mixture won't boil over . Add salt , white pepper , sugar and chicken powder after an hour , stir well and continue cooking , adjust taste . Serve piping hot with egg slices , yau ja gwai and some sliced spring onion .    

Yau ja gwai / deep fried Chinese pastry 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Penne with spicy meat sauce

Want a bigger photo ? Just click it ! 

Somebody here just love pasta ! lol

But then what's not to love ?

Pasta is one great and convenient ingredient to make tasty meals ....

Quick , simple and deliciously filling ....

And with so much pasta sauce to choose from , you'll be spoilt for choice !

Adding ground cinnamon to pasta sauce , anyone ?!

You'll be very surprise to know that it's really , really good !

Cinnamon adds a very interesting and subtle flavor to an otherwise same old same old  meat sauce ....

Don't forget to add the chillis ! Just reduce it for a more kid-friendly meal ....

Or add some bell peppers for a more wholesome dish ....

Definitely a dish worth making for , again and again .....

If you're going to make pasta next time , try adding it to your meat based sauce ....

Live a little ......

Remember that the end of the world is on the 21st of this month ! lol

Rigatoni with spicy meat sauce , recipe adapted from Martha Stewart

My modification in red

12 oz rigatoni or other short pasta  ( I used penne , 500 grams ) 
1 pound ground lamb or beef chuck ( 400 grams , a combination of ground pork and beef ) 
1 medium onion , finely chopped ( 150 grams shallots )
2 cloves garlic , minced
1/2 cup / 115 grams tomato paste
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon ( a generous teaspoon )
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper ( 1/2 teaspoon )
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 1/2 cups water ( 2 cups pasta water )
some coarse salt and ground pepper
4 rashers of bacon , cut 
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 tsp chili flakes 
a handful of cilantro , coarsely chopped 

* Boil pasta in a salted water .
* While pasta is cooking , cook the meat in a large saucepan over medium high heat , until no longer pink . Add onion and garlic , season with salt , pepper and sugar , cook stirring occasionally until onion is tender , 4 to 6 minutes . Add the bacon .
* Stir in tomato paste , cinnamon, cayenne and chili flakes ; cook until fragrant , about 2 minutes . Add the water , bring it to a boil , reduce into simmer and cook until slightly thickened , 8 to 10 minutes . Stir in the red wine vinegar and half of the chopped cilantro ; adjust seasoning . Add sauce to the cooked pasta or the other way around ; add the remaining cilantro and toss well to combine , serve immediately .

This post is linked the blog hop event , Cook Like a Star , featuring Martha Stewart's recipes , hosted by Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids , Yen of Eat you Heart Out and Jocelyn of Riceball Eats


Please visit some blogging friends sites for more of their 5 star cooking !

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Tofu and minced pork stir fry

Everybody loves simple and easy dishes ....

And with cheap ingredients ?! So much the better !

Tofu is a versatile protein-rich food , even with minimal seasoning and add-ins , it's absolutely delicious ....

Cheap and easy to prepare , I always buy a block of tofu whenever I can't think of what to cook ....

I like to steam it sometimes but mostly , it goes into my stir fries .....

Want more of easy tofu dishes ?! Check this Pan fried stuffed tofu , stir fried string beans , tofu and minced pork with kale in olive oil and the steamed tofu with minced pork and salted fish .

For a more substantial fare , add some sweet corn kernels and some greens ....

This recipe is easily doubled , no , make it triple !

Serves one lone Asian ( with 2 bowlful of rice and an oversized cup of hot milky coffee )

1 block / about 200 grams soft tofu
60 grams minced pork
60 grams bell pepper , a mix of red and yellow
1 small shallot , thinly sliced
1 clove garlic , minced
1 teaspoon ginger , finely chopped
a sprig of green onion , sectioned
1 tbsp chopped cilantro
1 tsp chili sauce
1/2 tsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp fish sauce
1/4 cup / 4 tablespoon water
a pinch of chicken powder
a dash of ground white pepper

* Rinse tofu , cut horizontally in two and put in a strainer to drain ( for hours , in the fridge , during hot days   ) , gently top with a small saucer , to expel some of the liquid . ( If you're pressed for time , just wipe it well with some kitchen towel or kitchen tissue ) . Wipe thoroughly with kitchen tissue and slice into squares then sprinkle with tapioca starch or cornstarch on both sides . Pan fry in a hot oil ( 1 tbsp or so ) until both sides are light brown .
* In the same pan , add shallot , garlic and ginger , fry until fragrant and add the minced pork , stir fry until pork changes color , add a pinch of chicken powder , chili sauce , sugar and pepper , continue frying until pork is golden brown . Pour in the water , let boil and simmer for about 3 minutes or until water evaporates , add in the fish sauce and adjust seasoning . Add in the green onion and cilantro , give it a good stir , dish up . Serve hot . With rice .

Monday, December 10, 2012

White chocolate mocha brownies

It's been months since I've baked brownies ....

And I've dreamed that I'm eating fudgy brownies last night !

In reality , my baked brownies is a tad dry , more cakey than the fudgy ones I've been eating in my dreams ! lol

Maybe because I've just added half the sugar than what the recipe calls  ?

For sure it's overcooked .....

A tad scorched at the edges as well tsk tsk !

According to recipe , cook for 50 to 60 minutes !

Ha ! I've cooked mine for about 40 minutes ugh !

Oh well ! It's still wonderfully chocolaty .....

It has coffee and white chocolate , my fave combo ! ^___^

There are cashews and pecans in there as well .....

Good thing I've added that 3 extras !

Worth baking again , in less than the allotted time , 30 to 35 minutes , I think .....

Mocha brownies , recipe adapted from Martha Stewart

My modification in red

8 tablespoon / 113 grams unsalted butter , cut into pieces ( 100 grams ) 
1 cup flour , spooned and leveled
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 teaspoons instant espresso (  1 1/2 tablespoon ) 
8 oz semi sweet or bittersweet chocolate
1 1/4 cups sugar ( scant 3/4 cup raw sugar )
3 large eggs
100 grams white chocolate chips
75 grams cashews and pecans 

* Preheat oven to 350°F / 180°C . Grease a 9-inch square pan and line the bottom and sides with parchment paper , leaving a 2-inch overhang on 2 sides ( for easy removal ) , butter the parchment paper as well .
* In a small bowl , combine the flour , cocoa powder , baking powder and salt , whisk to combine ; set aside .
* Place chocolate and butter in a large bowl  and set over a saucepan with barely simmering water , stirring occasionally until melted , about 2 to 3 minutes . Add sugar , mix to combine . Add in the eggs , mixing well . Add the flour mixture , mix until just moistened ( do not over mix ) add instant espresso . Transfer mixture to the prepared pan and bake until toothpick inserted comes out with a few moist crumbs attached , about 50 to 60 minutes ( BEWARE !!! )  . Cool in the pan for 30 minutes and transfer in the wire rack , let cool completely before cutting .

I'm submitting this post to the blog hop event , Cook like a star , featuring Martha Stewart's recipes , hosted by Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids , Yen of Eat your Heart Out and Jocelyn of Riceball Eats


Do check out some blogging friends scrumptious offerings !

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Ham and cheese whole wheat rolls

It's a toss up between mocha brownies and this Japanese style bread .....

But the bread won this time as the temperature calls for a more vigorous exercise ! lol 

This is the second tryout .....

I didn't really believe it when I read that the dough of this bread is very sticky at this site  ( she recommended  using a bread maker ) ....

I told myself , how sticky can it be ?  Stickier than this Pan de mie ? 

Ha ! Serves me right ! pfffffttttt ! 

As sticky as a glue .......

You should see my hands coated with sticky gooey mess ....

I've tried resting the dough for more than 5 minutes before another round of kneading but 'twas still too sticky so another extra flour was added and added until .....

So this time , I've used some whole wheat flour and what a difference it makes , sticky yet manageable and just some dusting of flour compare to a 50 grams of  extra flour that I've added last time ( I usually weigh my final dough )  ....

Soft , bouncy and a very tasty bread compare to my first attempt which even though 'twas bouncy but not as soft as I'd like it to be due by too much flour added .....

The recipe is called Japanese style bacon and cheese loaf bread ( Tangzhong method ) but I've made some tweaks ( again ! ) thus the different name .

Please check original recipe at Christine's recipes site

200 grams bread flour + 150 grams whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
2 teaspoons instant yeast
55 grams caster sugar
7 grams / 1 T + 1 tsp milk powder ( optional )
30 grams butter , at room temperature
1 large egg , about 56 grams , lightly whisked
120 grams Tangzhong 
125 grams soya milk , lukewarm

For the filling : 

100 grams ham , diced
50 grams cheddar cheese , diced
generous 1/4 teaspoon herbes de Provence

* In a large bowl , combine or sift bread flour , whole wheat flour and salt . Mix in the yeast , sugar and milk powder , whisking well to combine . Rub in the butter then make a well in the center , add in the egg , tangzhong mixture and the milk , mixing in together to form a soft dough .

* Turn mixture into a clean surface , knead the dough until it's soft and elastic , about 6 to 8 minutes . Form dough into a ball then place in a lightly greased bowl , turning once and cover with a plastic wrap and let proof in a warm place for 1 hour and 30 minutes . 

* Knock back the dough onto a clean surface , deflate the dough and roll into a roughly 18 by 12 inches rectangle , scatter the ham and cheese mixture on top and roll from the long side , seal the edge gently ; cut into 12 pieces and place into a lightly greased pan . Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise again for 45 to 1 hour . 

* Near the end of the final rise , preheat oven to 350°C/180°F . Lightly brush with egg wash and  bake for 25 minutes . Serve warm or at room temperature .

The first attempt , the alien bread ^__^''

Monday, December 3, 2012

Chicken curry rice

Hohohoho !

Time really flies so fast .....

Need to post more before the year ends .....

Hopefully , Her Laziness won't  materialize this month ! lol

So , it's been cold , windy and rainy here these past few days .....

I've been to a shop yesterday to check some winter jackets but I guess most people here had the same idea ! The shop was full to bursting as if winter necessities will go out of fashion ! lol

I think I'll better wait for the 90% markdown hee hee !

As it's cold here , what better way to cook than this scrumptious one-dish meal ....

A very satisfying dish that combines curry , chicken and rice ....

Imagine all those flavor in one dish ?!

I love eating curry with rice but never thought of cooking it together .....

Good thing  that I've been lurking at marthastewart's site to check some recipe for this month's Cook like a star blog hop or else I wouldn't think of cooking it .....

So , what are you waiting for ? Go try this if you haven't done so ! For sure , you have most of the ingredients in your pantry !

Please check original recipe @ Martha Stewart

1 pound chicken wings ( mid joint )
150 grams chicken breast , cut into 3 pieces
1 1/2 cups jasmine rice
1 1/2 tablespoon Thai red curry
1 cup coconut milk
1 2/3 cups chicken broth
1 each red and yellow bell pepper , cut into 1-inch pieces
100 grams green beans , cut into 1-inch pieces , blanched
150 grams shallots , roughly chopped
1 teaspoon ginger , finely minced
1/2 tsp sugar

1/2  tsp garlic powder , 1/4 tsp coarse salt and a generous dash of white ground pepper to marinate the chicken

* Rinse and pat dry chicken and marinate ( if you have time , marinate at least an hour before cooking ) with garlic , salt and pepper .
* Rinse the rice once and drain .
* In a wok or a large pan , heat some oil and pan fry chicken until lightly brown , transfer to a plate and keep warm .
* In the same pan , wipe or throw most of the oil , leave about half a tablespoon ; fry shallots and ginger until fragrant , add curry paste and stir well to combine , stir fry for a minute or so . Add the chicken and the rice , mixing thoroughly . Pour in the coconut milk  and the broth , let boil and add the sugar . Cover and let simmer in low heat for about 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed . Uncover and stirring well to combine all ingredients , adjust seasoning . Cover and let cook for another 10 minutes . Add bell peppers and green beans and cook for another 5 minutes . Let rest for about 10 to 15 minutes . Dish up and serve .

A wokfull of deliciousness ! 

This post is linked to the blog hop event , Cook like a star , featuring Martha Stewart's recipe , hosted by Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids , Yen aka Baby Sumo of Eat your Heart Out and Riceball of Lilnut.net .


Do check out some blogging friends 5 star cooking !