Monday, April 29, 2013

Hot tuna and corn buns

I need to bake bread more ....

I really knead er need the exercise .....

It was only about 4 minutes of kneading the dough and my left arm was aching , so pathetic ugh !

Since , nobody here but me , I pressed on lol 

Aren't they pretty ?

Soft and fluffy ....

And just delicious ! Er there's cream cheese , of course , everything's better with cream cheese !

Yup , I'm still dreaming about that espresso KitchenAid stand mixer * sigh*

Recipe adapted from Mad about bread

For the dough :

500 grams bread flour ( I used 350 grams bread flour and 150 grams wholewheat flour ) 
1 tsp salt ( scant teaspoon ) 
1 tsp sugar
1 sachet easy-blend dried yeast ( 2 1/4 teaspoons Saf red instant yeast ) 
15 grams butter , melted
300 grams warm water ( plus 2 teaspoons ) 

* In a large bowl , put the flours , salt and sugar and mix well to combine , add in the yeast and mix thoroughly . Make a well in the center and pour in the butter and the water . Use a large spatula or your hands to mix everything together to form a cohesive dough . Transfer dough to a clean surface and knead , until dough is soft and elastic , about 10 minutes or so .

* Place dough in a lightly oiled mixing bowl , turning once to coat and cover with plastic wrap and let rise for an hour or until double in size .

* Meanwhile , mix together filling ingredients . Grease a 10-inch round pizza pan .

* Divide dough into 16 equal pieces , roughly 50 grams each . Form each portions into round , cover and let rest for 5 minutes .

* Roll out each ball to about 4 to 5-inch round ; keep finished rounds covered . Divide filling between rounds and seal each dough . Brush all sides with butter and place balls into the pan . Cover slightly with plastic wrap and leave to rise for 45 minutes .

* Preheat oven to 220 °C . Bake the buns for about 15 minutes or until buns are golden . Transfer buns to a wire to cool . Serve hot , warm or at room temperature .

For the filling :

60 grams finely chopped red onion ( 40 grams shallots ) 
40 grams grated carrot
120 grams tuna ( 100 grams ) 
45 grams ( steamed ) fresh sweet corn kernels 
1/4 tsp ground white pepper ( a dash ) 
1/2  tsp salt ( a pinch ) 
2 tsp dried parsley or one heaped tablespoon chopped fresh ( snipped cilantro ) 
a pinch of cayenne or to taste ( 1/8 tsp ) 
a pinch of paprika or to taste ( 1/8 tsp ) 
80 grams crème fraîche ( cream cheese ) 
30 grams melted butter , for brushing

I'm submitting this post to the event , Little Thumbs Up , organized by Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids and Doreen of My Little Favourite DIY , hosted by  Esther of Copycake Kitchen .


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Mocha tres leches with vanilla bean ice cream

I've been hankering for some strawberry milkshake for quiet sometime and planning on making a batch of strawberry ice cream so that I can make it .....

But what if I want some chocolate or mango or coffee milkshake then ?

So I settle for vanilla ice cream , which  I'm not really fond of eating much less making it .....

How I changed my mind ^____^ ''

Oh , you'll change yours as well if only you can taste this vanilla bean ice cream of mine !

I bet even Haagen Dasz vanilla ice cream can't beat it lol 

No eggs in this recipe but for a simple vanilla flavor , it has 8 ingredients , too much , I'll say , but still easy to make  ....

Why make vanilla when there are much more exciting flavors out there , like coffee perhaps ? -____-

Ha !

Coffee ice cream still rule ! 

Another reason for making vanilla ice cream is to use it as a topping for my mocha tres leches cake ... 

The best thing about joining some of the blog hop event online is you can make some of those recipes that you've been eyeing for months but haven't got around on making it for one reason or another ...

In my case , too lazy or the recipe is too time-consuming  or I don't have that ingredient(s) yada , yada ......

But tres leches cake is a must-bake for me , I love milk , ( though I'm lactose intolerant before 11 am  ,  I know it's weird hee hee ! ) and  condensed milk is one of my fave ; 3 milk in a cake sounds like calcium overload  er divine !

According to Wiki  : Tres leches cake aka three milks cake , is made of sponge cake or some recipes , made of butter cake and soaked in three kinds of milk , evaporated milk , condensed milk and whole milk . When butter is not used , the tres leches cake is very light and does not have a soggy consistency despite being soaked in a mixture of 3 types of milk .

Though a part of the middle of the cake turned out soggy , I think because when I tested the sponge cake , some wet crumbs still clinging on the wooden skewer , that's good if you're making brownies but a no-no when making this cake , better overdone and dry than a moist cake in this instance ...

I was thinking before that making this cake takes too much time , but after making the sponge cake and the soaking liquid , I told myself , is that it ?

Easier than making that ice cream for sure !

The cake itself is not sweet and go really well with the vanilla bean ice cream .....

Please check full recipe @ Better Homes and Gardens

For the chocolate sponge cake :

3 eggs
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons milk
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla

* Preheat oven to 325°F / 160°C . Separate eggs , put whites in a large mixing bowl and the yolks in a small bowl , set aside . In a small saucepan , heat milk over medium heat until simmering , remove pan from heat and whisk in the cocoa powder until smooth , set aside to cool .

* In a small mixing bowl , combine the flour and baking powder , set aside . Beat egg whites and salt with an electric mixer on medium speed until frothy ; increase speed to medium-high and beat until soft peaks form . Gradually add sugar and beat until stiff peaks form .

* Add yolks to the beaten whites and beat until just combined . Add flour and cooled chocolate mixture alternately to the egg mixture , beating after each addition , scraping the sides of the bowl from time to time . Add vanilla and beat until just combined .

* Pour batter into an ungreased 8 x 8-inch baking pan , spreading evenly  . Bake for about 30 to 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes our clean . Transfer cake to a cooling rack and let cool completely in the pan before removing .

For the soaking liquid : 

Makes about 1 2/3 cups ( I used 1 1/3 cups )

168 grams evaporated milk
2 tablespoons instant espresso coffee powder
100 grams condensed milk
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons whipping cream

* In a medium saucepan , combine the evaporated milk and espresso powder , heat over medium heat , stirring constantly until espresso powder has dissolved . Remove from heat and whisk in the condensed milk and whipping cream .

* Use the tines of a long fork or a wooden skewer and poke holes all over the top of the cake . Pour the espresso mixture evenly over the top of the cake . Chill for at least 3 hours or overnight . Slice and serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream .

*****Vanilla bean ice cream recipe from Jeni's splendid ice cream or check Better Homes and Gardens

I'm linking this post to the Bake-Along event hosted by the trio of foodielicious ladies namely Joyce of My Kitchen Flavours Lena of Frozen Wings and Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids 


Sunday, April 21, 2013

Shrimp , tuna and corn penne

Love corn ? There's an ongoing blog hop event Little Thumbs Up and this month ingredient is CORN  . If you're cooking or baking with corn this month , do check out the link and join ! You'll be amazed to see all those wonderful recipes with corn .....

Don't know what to cook for dinner ?

Check out your pantry !

I know , you really can't see the flaked tuna in that pasta , but it's there , somewhere ....

Somebody need to buy a better quality canned tuna lol

This simple meal is so easy to prepare and in less that 30 minutes you'll have a delicious and very filling meal .

Planning to add some mozzarella and bake it in the oven but after cooking , I'm so hungry and got lazy  so

Don't worry that it looks a bit dry , if you serve it right away as opposed to taking some of photos first .....

350 grams penne
150 grams shrimp . shelled and deveined
1 can / 140 grams tuna in sunflower oil , drained
3/4 cup ( steamed ) sweet corn kernels
1/4 cup grated cheeddar cheese
1/4 cup snipped cilantro leaves and stems plus some for garnish
1 tsp chili flakes
1/2 tsp brown sugar
1 1/2 cups evaporated milk
3/4 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup finely chopped shallots
2 cloves garlic , finely minced
some salt and pepper to taste

* Boil pasta and drain ; return to the pan . Heat up wok , add some oil and fry shallots , cook until soft and transparent then add in garlic , cook until lightly browned . Add in the tuna and cook for 2 minutes, stirring gently . Add in the shrimp and corn , stir fry for 30 seconds then pour in the milk and broth , let boil . Add in chili flakes , sugar , half of the cilantro and cheese ; adjust taste and simmer for 5 minutes . Add in the pasta and cook for 2 minutes , stirring constantly ; add in the remaining cilantro . Dish up and serve warm

I'm linking this post to the blog hop event  Little Thumbs Up  organized by Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids and  Doreen of My Litle Favourire DIY . This month's ingredient is Corn and hosted by Esther of Copycake Kitchen 


Thursday, April 18, 2013

Salmon and corn sliders

If you're expecting another small treats , you won't be disappointed .....

You can super size it if you want , no one's stopping you  .....

Call it a sandwich filling or fritters ....

But I'm gonna tell you , if you love salmon , you should give this recipe a go !

Use canned , frozen or fresh - frozen for me since it's more cheaper than canned ....

Simple and easy to prepare , very appetizing and healthy er if you just omit the sauce , that is .....

But the sauce is a must !

Any sandwich won't be complete without it lol 

Recipe adapted from 750 Best Appetizers

Makes 8 patties ( I made twelve 1 1/2 -inch and two 2 1/4-inch patties ) 

1 can / 213 grams salmon , drained ( 250 grams steamed salmon )
1/4 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped red onion or spring onion ( shallots )
1 egg , beaten
1/2 cup fine dry bread crumbs . divided ( about 2/3 cup )
1 tsp Italian seasoning
salt and ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup steamed fresh sweet corn kernels
generous tablespoon snipped cilantro 
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper 

some small buns and some leafy greens 

* In a small mixing bowl , combine all but half of the bread crumbs , mix well . Form mixture into patties . Put half of the bread crumbs into the plate  and dip each patty into crumbs , covering both sides ; discard excess crumbs . I put the patties in the fridge for 30 minutes before frying .

* In a nonstick pan , heat oil over medium heat , pan fry patties and cook until golden brown . Serve on buns slathered with sauce .

Homemade tartar sauce

Please check original recipe @ Tyler Florence / Food Network

1/2 cup mayonnaise
70 grams cornichons , chopped
1 tbsp snipped cilantro
2 teaspoons grapefruit juice
2 teaspoons minced shallots
1/2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp chili sauce

* Mix all ingredients together and chill in the fridge before using .

This post is linked to the blog hop event , Little Thumbs Up organized by Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids and Doreen of My Favourite DIY and hosted by Esther of Copycake Kitchen .


Friday, April 12, 2013

Mini chocolate-espresso pound cake

I was planning to give this recipe a miss but since I seldom submit something to the Bake-Along event , I'm afraid the 3 ladies will bar me from participating again if I won't do this .....

So I  persevered eventhough I'm too lazy to take photos lol

Truthfully , I'm glad that I baked this cake .....

Despite substituting and adding some ingredients - with fingers crossed - that it won't go to waste , the cake baked beautifully .

Yup , another instant coffee lovers must bake .....

I have to attend Instant Coffee Lovers Anonymous meeting tomorrow .

As always , I've baked it in a smaller pans , which was time-consuming , by the way , ( and more things to wash after ) but the upside is less cooking time and the cake baked evenly .

I know , I know , I shouldn't have bought those loaf pans since I'm fond of using small baking tins these days  ^___^ ''

From now on , when the loaf cake recipe calls for loaf pan er except when baking bread , that is , I'll use smaller tins .....

I think I'll stop going to Shanghai St . from now on -___-

Please check original recipe @ Bon Appetit

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp coarse salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup UHT whole milk
1/2 cup evaporated milk plus about a tablespoon lemon juice ( I leave it overnight in the fridge )
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 generous tablespoon instant espresso
1 tablespoon honey
1 1/2 tablespoons golden syrup
2 generous teaspoons coffee paste
2 tablespoons boiling water
1/2 cup sugar
1 stick / 113 grams unsalted butter at room temperature
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
125 grams milk chocolate bar , roughly chopped

* Preheat oven to 350 °F / 180 °C . Butter the baking tins and silicone pan ; set aside .

* In a medium bowl , whisk the flour , baking powder , salt and baking soda . Whisk milk and soured cream er milk in a small bowl .

* Sift cocoa powder in another bowl , whisk in honey , golden syrup and boiling water , mix well to combine then add in the coffee paste , stir well ; let cool completely .

* In a large bowl , beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy , about 3 minutes . Beat in eggs , one at a time , scraping the sides of the bowl after each . Beat in vanilla . Add the cocoa mixture , stir until smooth , scraping the sides occasionally . By hand , using a rubber or silicone spatula , add in the flour mixture alternately with soured cream mixture in 2 additions , stir until well blended , mix in the chopped chocolate

* Pour batter in the prepared pans and bake for about 24 minutes ( silicone pan ) and about 30 minutes for three ( 3 1/2 by 1 1/2-inch ) tins . Let cool in pans on a wire rack before removing .

I made 11 cakes , 2 was baked in a muffin liners 

I'm submitting this post to the Bake-Along blog hop event hosted by  Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids , Joyce of Kitchen Flavours and Lena of Frozen Wings


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Pistachio lemon cake

It's one of those days again when I'm just too lazy to do any baking much less take some photos .

The weather has been gloomy lately since it's been raining here for more than a week now *sigh*

All I want to do is to lie down and sleep for days but real life intrudes ^___^ ''

I've been meaning to bake this cake for more than a week now and I had to put the pistachios in the freezer to stop myself from eating all of it .....

By the time I baked this cake I just have enough for only half of the recipe pffffttt !

Taking photos is such a pain in the behind during this dreary weather .....

Now I can relate when some bloggers keep griping about how there's not enough light during winter season to take a decent photos .

To think it's already April in this side of the world !

Yeah , I hate summer as well lol

But hey ! Summer is for making ice cream , proofing bread without using desklight and taking photos at past 5 pm , yup , there's enough light until about 7 pm here during summertime .....

And I'll be sweating like a pig ...

Oh well , I'll take the good with the gross lol

You want to know about the cake ?


Recipe adapted from Italian Easy : Recipes from the London River Cafe

( The list below is half of the recipe )

113 grams / 1 stick unsalted butter , softened
1 lemon , grate the zest and reserved half for the topping
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup blanched almonds
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons pistachios
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons caster sugar
2 eggs
1/3 cup self-raising flour , sifted

* Preheat oven to 300°F / 150 °C . Grease a 6 x 3 x 3-inch loaf pan and line with parchment paper .
Finely grind the almonds and pistachios together , set side .

* Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy  . Beat in eggs , one at a time , scraping the sides of the bowl after each addition . Add lemon zest and vanilla then fold in the nuts , stir well to combine and then add in the flour , mix well .

* Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45 to 60 minutes or until skewer inserted comes out clean . Leave to cool in the pan before removing

Topping :

half of the grated lemon zest ( from 1 lemon for the cake ) and squeeze the juice , use only half
1/4 cup pistachios , cut in half
2 tablespoons caster sugar

* In a small saucepan , mix sugar and lemon juice , boil until syrupy , then add in the zest ; stir in pistachio and pour over cake .

*** The pan used in the original recipe is 12 x 4 1/2  x 2 3/4-inch loaf pan . Butter is 2 1/4 sticks , though the 1/4 stick is only for greasing the pan ( ugh ! ) .  1/2 cup all-purpose flour is used in the original  recipe . 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Mini blueberry cheesecake

It is April already ?! 

How time flies ! 

And I haven't baked cheesecake for more than 2 months ?

Shame ......

It's easier and faster to use a 9-inch or an 8-inch springform pan but since I've been making smaller portion of this and that , what's another bite-size portion , right ?

Okay , when it comes to cheesecakes , mini is the way to go , why ? I just can't slice neatly to save my life ugh ! -___-

Need to ask Lizzy ! lol 

If you've seen some of my cheesecakes , don't worry if the recipes are not always the same ; adding a little this and that , reducing the baking time - nothing drastic , mind you and so far , it always works out in the end ....

Good thing coz cream cheese is not that cheap ! 

This is the first time that I've added some grated lemon and lime zest and it gives the rich and dense cheesecake a more fresher and lighter taste .

The blueberry topping itself is a beaut . I think I've found my ideal blueberry topping ! 

So , have you had a neat slice of cheesecake lately ? lol 

Please check original recipe @ Martha Stewart 

Makes 19 mini cheesecakes or one 9-( about 1 1/4-inch high ) or 8-inch ( this is much more thicker ) round cake 

For the crumb base : Combine 90 grams of finely ground digestive biscuits , 25 grams of melted butter and 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar , mix well . Press about 1 1/2 teaspoons of crumb mixture into each small tins and/or liners ; put in the freezer to set .  

For the filling : 

300 grams cream cheese , at room temperature
1 package / 236 grams sour cream , at room temperature
a generous 1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla 
1/2 tsp lemon zest 
1/4 tsp lime zest
a pinch of salt
2 large eggs , at room temp

* Preheat oven to 160°C . On medium speed , beat cream cheese until smooth then add in the sour cream , beat until light and fluffy , scraping the sides of the bowl from time to time . On low speed , add sugar in four additions ; mix in vanilla , the lemon and lime zest and salt until well combined . Add eggs , one at a time , beating just until combine after each and scraping the sides of the bowl . Do not overmix . Pour the mixture in the prepared tins/ liners , about 3/4 full . Bake in a water bath for 21 minutes . Take out from the oven and let cool completely in the tins / liners before putting in the fridge to chill for at least 4 hours . 

Please check full recipe @ my recipes

Makes a generous 1 cup

For the blueberry sauce : You can use frozen blueberries when making a purée but use fresh for your add-in , the crunch of the fresh blueberries is really wonderful .

* Combine 1 1/4 cups fresh or frozen blueberries and 1 1/2 teaspoons tapioca starch in a food processor and process until smooth . Transfer mixture into a small saucepan and bring to a boil ; cook until slightly thick , stirring constantly , transfer to a small bowl and wash the saucepan .

* Combine the puréed blueberries , 1/4 cup sugar and 1/3 cup water in a saucepan . Cook over medium heat for 8 minutes or until sauce is thick , stirring constantly . Gently fold in 1/2 cup fresh blueberries . Remove from heat and let cool completely before using .