Friday, June 28, 2013

Japanese cheesecake with simple cherry sauce

If you have to choose between this cotton-soft cheesecake and the traditional one .....

I'm not one of those people who play favorites when it comes to cheesecakes lol

How about you ?

Both has its own delightful flavor that I can't make up my mind when it comes to these two .....

This is a lightened up version but just as delectable as its rich and creamy cousin .

The texture is more like a soufflé , soft and smooth ....

And this is much more easier to make ...

Don't mind the wrinkled top , I've forgotten to take photos when it was still fresh from the oven , 'twas as smooth as a baby's bottom then ^___^ ''

This is the same recipe as last time and had been planning to sub half of the cream with milk . But since I've baked this cheesecake early in the morning and my eyes was still half-closed .....

Recipe adapted from Cookpad

225 grams cream cheese , softened
30 grams granulated sugar
30 grams butter
3 eggs , separated , at room temperature
100 ml cream
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tablespoon rum
40 grams cake flour

50 grams sugar for the egg whites
some apricot jam for glazing

* In a medium bowl , combine the cream cheese , sugar , butter and cream . Put bowl over a pan of barely simmering water , whisk the mixture until smooth , let cool .

* Preheat oven to 150°C . Lightly butter a 7-inch loose-bottom pan , line the bottom and sides with parchment paper , lightly butter the paper as well .

* Beat yolks , add to the cream cheese mixture ; add in lemon juice and rum , mix until well combined . Sift in the cake flour in two additions , mix well until smooth .

* In a large bowl , beat egg whites and add sugar in 3 additions . Beat until soft peaks form . Add about 1/3 of the egg white mixture to the cream cheese mixture , mix well then pour the mixture back into the bowl with the remaining egg whites . Fold the mixture well .

* Pour batter into the prepared pan and tap pan on counter to remove air bubbles .

*  Bake in a water bath at 150°C for 30 minutes then lower to 140°C and bake for another 30 to 40 minutes or until skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean . If the cake begins to brown on top , cover loosely with foil .  Let rest in the oven with the oven door slightly open , about 30 minutes . Let  cake cool completely before removing from the pan . Glaze with apricot jam , if prefer .

For the cherry sauce :

* In a small saucepan , combine 150 grams frozen cherries , 2 teaspoons brown sugar and 2 teaspoons water ; simmer over medium-high heat ,stirring from time to time until cherries are soft . Add 1 tablespoon of  cherry jam , stir until dissolved , squeeze  in some lemon juice , cook until mixture  slightly thickened . Transfer to a small bowl ,  let cool and put in the fridge to chill . Makes about 1/2  cup .

This post is linked to the blog hop event Bake Along hosted by Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids , Joyce of Kitchen Flavours and Lena of Frozen Wings


Thursday, June 20, 2013

Black coffee ice cream

How's the weather in your side of the world ? 

For sure you need something to beat the infernal heat ! 

I love eating ice cream more than making it .

But making an ice cream is such a breeze than photographing just a mere scoop .

Try doing when it's 31°C temperature - in a small flat ....

Don't worry , no French words were uttered ....

Yeah , right !  

Buying the ice cream maker was one of my best purchases , I bought mine for HK $ 100 . A pint of my favorite ice cream retails at $ 52. , see how how much I can save by making it ? Heck , even using  UHT whole milk and cream , homemade ice cream can rival the best store-bought ice cream out there ^___^

So what are you waiting for ? Dust off that ice cream maker you've purchased aeons ago and get crackin' ! 

No ice cream maker ? If you're dedicated enough , you can make it without the machine . Too lazy to do it ? At least buy the best one you can afford !

Recipe adapted from Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home 

My modification in green

Makes about a quart 

2 1/2 cups whole milk  2 cups UHT whole milk 
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp cornstarch tapioca starch
1 cup evaporated milk
3 tbsp cream cheese , softened
1/8 tsp fine sea salt
1 1/2 cups heavy cream 1 cup 
3/4 cup sugar 1/2 cup
3 tbsp light corn syrup 1 tablespoon golden syrup 
1/4 cup dark roast coffee beans , coarsely chopped
3/4 tablespoon instant espresso granules

* Mix about 2 tablespoons of the milk with the tapioca in a small bowl to make a smooth slurry .
* Whisk cream cheese and salt in a medium bowl until smooth  .
* Fill a large bowl with ice and water .

* Combine the remaining milk , evaporated milk , cream , sugar and golden syrup in a medium saucepan , bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat and boil for 4 minutes . Remove from heat , add in the coffee and let steep for 5 minutes .

* Strain the coffee mixture through a fine sieve with a layer of cheesecloth , squeeze the cheesecloth to extract as much liquid as you can . Discard the ground coffee . Stir in the espresso powder .

* Return the mixture to the saucepan and gradually whisk in the tapioca slurry . Bring back to a boil , over medium-high heat , stirring constantly for about minute or until slightly thickens . Remove from heat and gradually whisk in the hot milk into the cream cheese until smooth . Place over an ice bath , stirring the mixture constantly until cool then chill it in the fridge for an hour , stirring from time to time .

* Pour mixture into the ice cream machine and churn until thick and creamy ,  about 40 minutes . Transfer to a container and press a sheet of plastic wrap against the surface and cover with a lid . Freeze overnight .  

This post is linked to the blog hop event Cook your Books hosted by Joyce of Kitchen Flavors 

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Monday, June 17, 2013

Grapefruit-yogurt mini bundt cakes with grapefruit glaze

I'm fond of citrus cakes and couldn't resist when I saw another one at Joyce's last month .

I've been meaning to bake it asap since I still got some yogurt left from my last bake ....

Great procrastinator that I am .....

Good thing that the leftover yogurt still tastes well , yogurty ( if there is such word ) , I've checked the expiration date and it was way past it er more than 2 weeks ago ?! 

Yup , I still used it for this recipe .

Hey , I'm still alive and kicking ..... I think I need to go to the toilet  lol

I'm planning to add ginger because nothing beats the flavor combination of citrus and ginger . 

So there I was , mixing the dry ingredients for this cake when I remember that I haven't grated the zest of the grapefruit - no problem , ha ! For the life of me , the grater didn't work , the grapefruit kept sliding off , nary a zest in sight *sigh* I just used it the night before , grating cheese . To think days before , I've been checking out the Microplane at Shanghai St . ( yeah , where else ?! )  , okay I've been eyeing it since last year ! Of course , I haven't buy it coz I'm cheap - serves me right ugh ! I had to use a peeler , scraped off the pith and chopped it finely er not finely enough . And I forgotten to add the ginger ....

I think it was one of those days -___- ''

But as you can see , the cakes still turned out nice and delicious though if there's ginger in there ...... And only if I bought that Microplane lol 

The grapefruit glaze is a MUST ! 

Oh , don't mind the scorched top of the mini loaf , just scrape off the darn thing .....

Recipe adapted from Coffee Cakes via Grace Phua  

Please check original recipe Life can be simple

3 large eggs , at room temperature
150 grams caster sugar
2 tablespoon grated grapefruit zest
150 grams sunflower oil 
250 grams all-purpose flour 
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
220 grams yogurt  plus 20 grams evaporated milk

* Preheat oven to 35°F / 180 C . Lightly butter  4 mini bundt pan and one 6 by 2 3/4-inch mini loaf pan .

* In a large bowl , combine the eggs , sugar , zest and the oil ; use a whisk and mix until well blended .

* In another bowl , combine the flour , baking soda , baking powder and salt , stir to combine . Gradually add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture alternately with the yogurt , in 2 additions ; mix until well combined . Pour batter into the prepared pans .

* Bake for 35 minutes or until cake is golden brown and tester inserted in the middle comes out clean . Let cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes before unmoulding . 

For the glaze : 

* In a small saucepan , combine 1 tablespoon grated grapefruit zest , about 1/3 cup sugar and 1/2 cup grapefruit juice , cook over medium heat , stirring until sugar is dissolved , let cool . Pour over warm cakes 

Friday, June 14, 2013

Nasi goreng

Do you have a favorite dish that you usually cook over and over again ?

A one-pot dish that can be cook in less than 15 minutes ?

The name nasi goreng may sound complicated but it's one of the easiest dish you could easily make ...

But then it's only fried rice ..... A very SCRUMPTIOUS fried rice ! And one of the World's 50 best foods according to CNNGo readers .....

I have a soft spot for Yang chow fried rice but there's something about the flavor combination of shrimp paste , chili and sweet soy sauce that makes my mouth water every time I think of nasi goreng  lol

I've made nasi goreng before but this recipe from Saveur ( which I tweaked a bit ) is my to-go recipe since I've seen it at their site several months ago . I've cooked it from time to time since then but I haven't measured the ingredients until now , that is . Though the next time I'll cook this , I will add , maybe 5 grams more of shrimp paste and another chili for a more robust taste .

Beware , don't forget to turn on the exhaust fan or open your windows wide so as the main door since the smell of shrimp paste while you're toasting it will permeate every corner of your kitchen especially if your kitchen is as small as ours tsk !  Oh ,  so as yourself ! Just take a bath after , just in case  ^___^ ''

Please check original recipe @ Saveur

Serves 2

about 3 1/2 cups leftover rice
10 grams dried shrimp paste
1 tablespoon grated palm sugar
1 shallot , roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic , minced
1 bird's eye chili , roughly chopped
1/2 tsp finely chopped ginger
1 tablespoon kecap manis or sweet soy sauce
some salt

For serving :

2 eggs
1 small cucumber , sliced

* In a non stick pan or a wok , over medium-high heat , stir fry shrimp paste for about 2 minutes or until fragrant . Transfer to a mortar and pestle , add in the sugar , shallot , garlic , chili and ginger ; grind until you have a ( roughly ) smooth paste .

* In the same pan , over medium-high heat , pour about a tablespoon of oil , fry each egg until set ; transfer to a plate ; set aside . Pour more oil , if necessary , add in the flavoring paste and stir fry until fragrant , about 2 minutes . Add the rice , breaking any clumps , cook , stirring constantly for 5 minutes ; add the soy sauce , stir well to combine , about a minute . Season with salt , give it a good stir . Divide into 2 plate, top with egg and some cucumber slices . Serve immediately .

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Bouchon Bakery's chocolate chunk and chip cookies

I haven't baked cookies since I accidentally thrown my kitchen timer 2 months ago pfffft ! 

Timer to me is essential especially when I'm multitasking - read : baking while lurking online or watching telly or reading chick-lit or cleaning the toilet lol  

You should have seen some overcooked cookies I had before I bought a timer .

Our oven is quiet small so when I bake cookies , I do it by batch - for this recipe alone which I've made 27 cookies , I had to cook those cookies in 6 batches ! Imagine when I bake more than 4 dozen ?! 

Okay , I miss eating cookies and having borrowed Thomas Keller's Bouchon Bakery at the library , I just can't resist trying one cookie recipe ....

Not having some ingredients listed in the book did not deter me from baking these cookies but then I just love to substitute . 

How was the taste ? Nothing special but better than some chocolate cookie recipe that I've tried before .

Recipe adapted from Bouchon Bakery 

Makes six 4-inch cookies ( 150 grams each ) I made a dozen 2 1/4-inch and fifteen 3-inch cookies

My modification in green . Note that the instruction is my modified version 

 239 grams / 1 1/2 cups + 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour 
2.3 grams / 1/2 tsp baking soda
3 grams / 1 tsp kosher salt 1/2 tsp table salt
134 grams / 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar , lightly packed 115 grams
12 grams / 1 3/4 tsps unsulfured blackstrap molasses golden syrup 
104 grams / 1/2 cup plus 1 tsp granulated sugar 80 grams 
107 grams / 2/3 cup 3/8-inch chunks 70% to 72% chocolate 110 grams Lindt milk chocolate 
107 grams / scant 1/2 cup chocolate chips 110 grams Guittard 63% bittersweet
75 grams Ghirardelli white chocolate
167 grams unsalted butter , at room temperature 
60 grams / 3 tablespoons plus 2 1/2 teaspoons eggs 1 egg

* Combine flour , baking soda and salt ; whisk together . In another bowl , combine both sugar and syrup , breaking up any lumps . 

* Combine chocolate chunks and chips .

* Place butter in a large mixing bowl , using a handheld mixer , on medium speed , beat butter until it is the consistency of a mayonnaise and holds a stiff peak when the beater is lifted . Add the sugar mixture and beat for 3 to 4 minutes until light and fluffy . Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl . Add egg and beat for 15 to 30 seconds or until just combined , scrape bowl again . Add dry ingredient in 2 additions , mixing on low speed for 15 to 30 seconds after each or until just combined , scrape the  sides and bottom of the bowl to incorporate any dry ingredients . Using a large spatula or wooden spoon , add the chocolates , mix to combine . Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes . 

* Preheat oven to 160°C . Line baking sheets with Silpat or parchment paper . 

* Divide dough , 30 grams for 2 to 2 1/2-inch cookie , 50 grams for 3 to 3 1/2 -inch cookie and put into the prepared pans . Bake for 15 to 20 minutes , depending on your oven , or until golden brown . Set pan on the cooling rack and let cool for 5 to 10 minutes then transfer the cookies to the rack to cool completely . 

This post is linked to the blog hop event Cook your Books hosted by Joyce of Kitchen Flavours

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Friday, June 7, 2013

The milkiest chocolate ice cream in the world

The heat is on ......

Summer is definitely here ugh !

What better way to celebrate ( or not ) summer than having a scoop or three of  your fave ice cream ?!

If is it homemade , so much the better but hey , store-bought is fine  ^___^

I've been planning to make some Vietnamese coffee popsicles since last month when I saw the recipe at the gorgeous blog of Sommer Collier  but sadly I still haven't found a good quality popsicle mould *sigh*

Well , since I still got a lot of time to make those popsicles , ice cream which you just can put in any container is the next best thing to make .....

It melts as fast as the Arctic ice *sigh*

Speaking of container , I bought 3 small glass bottle aeons ago, they were cheap and cute and I just couldn't resist buying some lol 

Then I remember Sonia's gorgeous soy milk pudding late last year using the same small bottle and thought why not put some ice cream in those small bottles ?! You can serve it directly - no need to use ice cream scoop ......

Don't they look pretty cute ?!

According to Jeni Bauer , this ice cream tastes like a bar of fine Swiss chocolate and I couldn't agree more ! Though my idea of fine Swiss chocolate is Lindt chocolate hee hee !

Smooth , luscious , creamy and chocolaty , this ice cream is just like eating Lindt milk chocolate bar ! Trust me , since I'm currently eating this ice cream with some Lindt lol 

If you're wondering about the post title , that's really the name of this ice cream .

Recipe adapted from Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home

Makes about 1 quart

My slight modification in green

1 cup whole milk  1 1/4 cups UHT whole milk 
1 tablespoon plus 1 tsp cornstarch  tapioca starch 
2 oz bittersweet chocolate ( 55 to 70 % cocoa ) Guittard 63 % bittersweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup heavy cream 1/2 cup cream 
1 cup evaporated milk
2/3 cup sugar 1/2 cup 
2 tablespoons light corn syrup 1 tbsp 
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder a combination of Hershey's and Valhrona 
1/4 tsp fine sea salt 1/8 tsp table salt 

* Mix about 2 tablespoons of milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl to make a smooth paste .
 Put chocolate chips in a medium heatproof bowl . Prepare a large mixing bowl and fill it with ice and small amount of water .

* Combine the remaining milk , cream , evaporated milk , sugar and corn syrup in a 4-quart saucepan and bring mixture into a rolling bowl over medium-high heat . Add the cocoa , whisking thoroughly to prevent lumps and continue boiling for 4 minutes .

* Remove from heat and gradually mix in the cornstarch mixture . Bring the mixture back to a boil until thickens , about a minute .

* Gradually whisk in the hot milk mixture into the chocolate . Add the salt and whisk until chocolate is melted . Place over an ice bath to cool completely , stirring from time to time .

* Pour mixture into the ice cream maker and churn until thickens , about 30 minutes or until thick and creamy . Transfer into an airtight container and freeze overnight .

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Spicy cheese crackers

I've never really thought of making crackers - how about you ?

Crackers is the recipe chosen by Lena  , one of  the Bake-Along hostess .....

The best thing about joining the gels in their bi-monthly recipe taste test is I can try those recipes that I won't usually thought of making .

Though I've missed loads of previous bakes due to time constraint okay , okay , pure laziness or sometimes brain-freeze but the gels are a nice lot . They'll continue to let you join in even though you're slacking from time to time lol

While I was making this , I remember Jeannie of Baking Diary said that her crackers were a tad too salty so I told myself to go easy on the salt ....

Go easy on the salt , my foot ! I've forgotten to add it altogether *sigh*

These crackers are crunchy but not that crispy , spicy ( which I love ) , not really cheesy  ( need to add more cheese next time ) though lacking an oomph due to the lack of salt ...

That said , these cheese crackers pairs well with tuna-mayo spread and an ice-cold Coke zero  ^___^

Recipe adapted from William's-Sonoma

2 cups all-purpose flour ( I sub 1/3 cup whole wheat flour ) 
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cayenne pepper
1 tsp paprika
2 tbsp grated dry jack cheese ( 50 grams mild cheddar ) 
1 tsp mustard seeds ( don't have this ) 
1 tbsp shortening , at room temperature ( I used lard )
1 tbsp cold unsalted butter
1/2 cup heavy cream , more if needed

* To make the dough by hand : In a small bowl , combine flour , sugar , salt , cayenne pepper , paprika , mustard seeds and cheese . Using a pastry blender or 2 knives , cut in the shortening and butter until mixture forms a large coarse crumbs . Pour in the cream and mix with fork until a cohesive dough forms .

* Transfer dough to a clean work surface  and gently squeeze it together . Press dough into a disk and wrap it in a plastic wrap and leave to rest at room temperature for at least 20 minutes or for up to an hour .

* Preheat oven to 350°F . Line baking sheets with parchment paper .

* Unwrap dough disk into the work surface , cut in half . Roll one half of the dough into a rectangle and as thin as possible without tearing the dough , dusting it with flour so as to prevent sticking . Cut into a desired shape . Transfer the dough into the baking sheet , repeat with the second half of the dough .

* Bake crackers for 12 minutes . Let cool and store crackers into an airtight container for up to 5 days .

This post is linked to the blog hop event , Bake- along , hosted by Lena of Frozen Wings  , Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids and Joyce of Kitchen Flavours .