Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Chocolate Ganache Chiffon Cake

Hi

A leader in my organization, whom I respected, is posting out to another company soon.  He is also the one who recruited me into the organization.  As such, I decided that my best way to bid farewell to him is to bake him a cake. 

 One of the cake which I frequently bake is Chiffon Cake.  I love the fact that Chiffon Cakes are so versatile and you can make it in a wide variety of flavor. 



Recently, I got a few cookbooks on Chiffon Cake by Japanese Chef as a gift from my boss and I’m totally blew away by those pictures in the cookbooks.  They are so pretty and really inspired me.  This is one of the cake which I adapted from one of the cookbook.
HAPPY BAKING!

INGREDIENTS
120g          Pastry flour [used Cake flour]
3g               Baking powder
15g             Cocoa powder

Egg Yolk Batter
4                 Egg yolks
40g            Caster sugar [reduced to 25g]
45g            Olive oil [replaced with Canola oil]
30g            Milk
60g            Chocolate
15g             Cocoa powder

Meringue
5                 Egg whites
50g            Castor sugar [reduced to 25g]

Chocolate Ganache
200g         Chocolate
100g          Whipping cream
                   Chopped nuts [used pistachio nuts]


METHOD
Preheat oven to 170°C.  Prepare a 17cm chiffon cake tin.
Sift together pastry flour [cake flour], baking powder and cocoa powder.

Melt chocolate over a bain marie.  Set aside for it to be cooled.

In a large bowl, beat egg yolks and sugar until mixture is thick and creamy.  Add oil gradually while mixing until mixture is smooth.  Add mix and mix well.  Add cooled melted chocolate and mix again.  Set aside.

Using electric mixer, and a clean, grease-free bowl, whisk egg whites gently until foamy.  Gradually add sugar and whisk until firm peaks form.

Spoon one-third of meringue into egg yolk batter and mix gently with a rubber spatula.  Add flour mixture and mix until incorporated.  Add remaining meringue and mix well.

Pour batter into chiffon cake tin.  Tap tin gently on counter top to release any air bubbles.

Bake 30-40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into centre of cake comes out clean.  Remove from oven and invert mould on a wire rack.  Let cake cool completely before unmoulding.

Prepare chocolate ganache.  Cook chocolate and whipping cream over bain marie until chocolate is melted.  Set aside and let it cool.

Pour the chocolate ganache over the chiffon cake and sprinkle the chopped nuts.

Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving.





Monday, 17 October 2016

Crispy Roasted Pork Belly 烧肉


Hi

I had a big success at the first attempt on this recipe!  
Thanks to brother Simon for his dedicated teaching.  He is one of the great cook in my church (Hope Church Singapore).  It was a wonderful afternoon learning how to make this roasted pork belly from him.  
My hubby and children are big fans of crispy roast pork belly.  I attempted making previously from other recipe but failed miserably.  I’m so happy that I have finally made it.  
As this is my first success and may not be my best work per se, but I’m there and it is all that counts.
HAPPY ROASTING!

INGREDIENTS

1 kg                      Pork belly
6-8 cloves           Garlic

Marinade
2 tsp                    Five spice powder
1 tsp                    Black pepper
1 tbsp                  Five spice salt
1 tsp                    cinnamon powder
3 (or more)       Sage leaves (fresh or dried)

Baking
200g-300g        Sea salt
4-6                      Large yellow onions
1 (or few)           Fresh or dried thyme
1 (or few)           Fresh or dried rosemary (I skipped as I couldn’t get it at the small neighborhood supermarket near my house)


STEPS
(1)Wash and dry the port belly.

(2)Prick the skin laboriously [but not prickling through the skin] until the skin is completely punctured with holes.  This is crucial in order to create a crispy skin on top of the pork belly.  [I was too engrossed with the prickling and have missed out taking pic]

(3)Make deep horizontal stabs in the sides of the belly, insert garlic cloves into each cavity and push them in deep. [I was trying hard to insert the garlic into the meat and simply to extra hands to take pic]

(4)Rub the meat sides with the five spice power, five spice salt, cinnamon powder and sage (finely chopped or pressed on whole).


(5)Marinade overnight, leave cling-wrapped in fridge or in food bag – keep chilled.


(6)Preheat oven to 180°C, line bottom of pan with thick-sliced onions and a cup of water.  Line pork belly skin side up on a rack over the onions.

(7)Pat dry pork belly skin, then layer the top with the salt evenly to form a coat.

(8)Bake at 180°C for 40 minutes, grill mode. 

(9)When salt crust forms, the skin should be dry.

(10)Remove the pork belly from the oven, raise oven to 240°C.
While oven is heating up, pull off the salt crust and discard.  


(11)Add rosemary and thyme to onions, check water level, it should be about 5mm high (to prevent drying out).  Place the pork belly back in the oven immediately, roast for another 10-15 minutes. 


(12)Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes on a cutting/serving board. 

(13)Cut and serve immediately.


Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Portuguese Peri Peri Chicken

Hi

I learnt this dish from Daniela Romeo, a young Portuguese lady at International Cooking Club Singapore Limited, which I was accepted into the club through my friend, Cecilia Yap for Friday evening group.
The last meeting, which I attended was hosted by Daniela.  She prepared 6 Portuguese dishes for 9 of us.  There were so much fun and lots of laughter while we were helping up in preparation of dishes.  It was an awesome evening where we got to experience the authentic Portuguese dinner together and had fellowship.
I particularly like this dish so I decided to cook for my family.  A great recipe for an authentic Portuguese chicken.  It’s utterly delicious and very easy to make.  I grilled the chicken a little longer to create a nice and crisp ‘burnt’ on the outside skin.  Of course, the chicken is best done over a flame charcoal but for not having an outdoor grill in my humble apartment, I baked it in the oven instead and the chicken came out great too.

HAPPY COOKING!

INGREDIENTS

4 tbsp        Olive oil
4-10 pcs    Bird’s eye chilli depends on the heat level of your choice [I used 6 pcs of normal chilli]
4 cloves     Garlic, or 1.5 tbsp garlic powder for a thicker
                   consistency
¼ cup       Juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp        Paprika
1 pce          Bay leaf
1 tsp           Oregano
1 tsp           Sea salt
½ tsp        Pepper [I used freshly grated black pepper]
1                 Chicken - in butterfly cut style
                   Extra sea salt, optional


METHOD

(1)In a blender combine everything except the chicken and the extra salt, blend until very smooth.


 (2)Score chicken legs with a knife a few times[I overlooked this part]

(3)Pour 1/3 cup of the sauce over chicken and toss well.  I sprinkle a few dishes of extra salt on top of chicken.  Marinade the chicken at least 1 hour or overnight.


 (4)Grill or bake it.  To bake, preheat the oven to 220◦C.

(5)Place the chicken on a baking pan lined with foil, spray with oil, and place chicken.  Bake for 15 minutes, turn over, baste with extra sauce, and continue to bake for another 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked and browned.   


Monday, 3 October 2016

Pistachio White Chocolate No Bake Cheesecake


Hi

You will never go wrong with no bake cheesecake.  It is a guaranteed success cake in comparison with other cakes.
My family had tried no bake cheesecake with fruits topping and layer of jelly over it.  However, we would still prefer baked cheesecake over the no bake one. 
 
But this Pistachio White Chocolate Cheesecake really blow our mind and we were surprised at how well this cake turned out to be.  Sometimes the creaminess and the moussey-ness texture are what makes the no bake cheesecake so delicious and full of flavor.
HAPPY EATING!

INGREDIENTS
Biscuit Base
100g          Unsalted butter, melted
300g         Oreo cookies

Cheesecake Filling
500g          Philadelphia Cream Cheese
300g         Double cream
30g            Icing sugar
300g         White Chocolate, melted
100g          Chopped Pistachios

Decoration
25g            Chopped pistachios
50g            Melted milk chocolate
80g            Whipped cream

METHOD
Remove the cream sandwich between the oreo cookies.  Blitz the biscuits in food processor to a small crumb.  Add the butter, mix well and press down firmly onto the bottom of the pan firmly.  Leave it aside.

Melt the white chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water.  Leave it aside to cool.


Beat the cream cheese and icing sugar until smooth.  Add in the double cream and continue to beat to soft peak – until it’s able to hold itself. 


Fold in the cooled white chocolate.  Add in the chopped pistachios and fold through again.


Spread the mixture over the biscuit base, smooth over and chill in the fridge for at least 5-6 hours, or preferably overnight so it will definitely be set.


Remove the cheesecake from the fridge when it is completely set.  Drizzle over the melted milk chocolate and leave it to set for few minutes.  Decorate the cheesecake by pipping some whipped cream and sprinkle some chopped pistachio.

Serve.



Friday, 30 September 2016

Cabbage Meatball Soup

Hi

This is one of the soup that my hubby likes it a lot because it is a comforting soup to have it on a hot afternoon day.  We had this soup on last weekend and it really goes well with the Prawn & Bunashimeiji Mushrooms Fried Rice.
Napa cabbage can make soup very tasty as it contains natural sweetness and the flavor is so clean and fresh.  I used anchovies and soy beans to make soup base as these 2 items are always available in the fridge whenever I’m running out of pork ribs or chicken bones.
HAPPY EATING!


INGREDIENTS

Meatballs
1 pound     Ground pork
1 tbsp        Ginger juice
3                 Spring onion (finely chopped)
1                 Egg
2 tbsp        Light soy sauce
½ tsp        White pepper
1 tsp           Sesame oil
1 tbsp        Hua Tiao Wine

Vegetables
1 pound     Napa cabbage
1                 Carrot

Soup
1.5 litres    Water
Handful of white anchovies
Handful of soy beans
Pepper
1 tsp           Sesame oil


DIRECTION

(1)Marinade ground pork with ginger juice, spring onion, light soy sauce, white pepper, egg and Hua Tiao Wine in a box.  Covered and put it in the fridge for about 1 hours.


(2)Rinse anchovies and soya beans then put into the pot of water.
Bring to boil and simmer 20-25 mins then strain the soup through a sieve to remove the anchovies and soy beans.   


(3)Rinse and cut the cabbage into diagonal pieces

(4)Rinse and cut the carrot into slices.

(5)Remove the marinade ground pork from the fridge.  Scoop about 1 tablespoon of meat mixture and form it in a ball then drop it into the pot of soup.  Do not stir.  Cooked for about 10mins.

(6)Add carrots into the soup pot and follow by cabbage.  Stir gently and cook for 15-20mins.


 (7)Serve the soup and garnish with green onion.





Monday, 26 September 2016

Prawn & Bunashimeiji Mushrooms Fried Rice


Hi


The one-pot recipe by Diana Gale is totally awesome!  Now I can never run away one-pot meal on the day which I am too busy to cook or when I needed to use up all the leftover ingredient in the fridge. 

It was a long and tiring week for me as I was out for 3 nights after work, attending bible seminar.  I didn’t have time to plan what to cook and bake for weekend.  Therefore, I resulted in doing one-pot meal and this recipe is one of the inspired ideas that I adapted from Diana Gale, The Domestic Goddess Wannabe.
 
It is really delicious.


HAPPY COOKING!

INGREDIENTS
3 cups       Over-night cooked rice
4 cloves     Garlic, minced
4                 Shallots, thinly sliced
2                 Eggs (seasoned with 1/4 teaspoon light soy sauce
and a dash of white pepper)
300g         Shimps
2 punnet   Bunashimeiji mushrooms, roots removed
1.5 tbsp     Light soy sauce
2.5 tbsp    Dark soy sauce
1/8 tsp      Ground white pepper


DIRECTION

(1)In a hot wok, scramble the eggs. Remove the eggs and set aside.

 

(2)In the same wok, stir-fry shallots and garlic in a little oil for about 30-40 seconds in hot oil.

(3)Add prawn and fry for a minute.

(4)Add the mushrooms and cook for another minute.

(5)Add egg. Stir until combined.



(6)Finally, add the rice, light soy and dark soy as well as ground white pepper and stir on low heat until well-combined.


 (7)Once the rice is mixed, it is ready.


Sunday, 11 September 2016

Red Wine Berries Snow Skin Mooncake


Hi
I have to confess I have never make snow skin mooncakes before.  I saw so many bloggers making and they are so pretty.   So I decided I should give it a try too, and I'm surprised it is so easy to make.
I didn’t make the paste.  The red wine berries paste from Kwong Cheong Thye <廣祥泰> is a winner!  I bought their Hong Kong Fried Glutinous Rice Flour and Icing Sugar too, and I think they sell one of the better quality ones.  
I have tried making traditional baked mooncake 2 years ago.  You can find the post here.  But I wasn’t too happy and had lots of difficulties with it.  Haha! I think I would never want to make it again. 

 I’m glad at least I attempted in making snow skin this time.  I’m not sure whether I will be making it again next year.  But if I can find special paste like this red wine berries, I’m sure I will make again.  
I find baking together with friend is a joy and I love to have friends coming over to bake.  This is my 2nd time having Cecilia over.  She is a lovely girl and always willing to share and impart her knowledge.  
 Cecilia brought some durian paste over and we also made some Durian Snow Skin Mooncake too.


The whole process of making these mooncakes was fun.  I really enjoyed making and love the outcome of these mooncakes.
Here wishing all my friends and bloggers a
Happy Mid-Autumn!


INGREDIENTS recipe by Cecilia Yap
Yield about 60 pcs

300g         Fried Glutinous Rice Flour
300g         Icing sugar
140g          Shortening [we used Crisco]
300g         Cold water [we made pandan water]
        

METHOD

Pandan Water
Boil about 1 litre of water with a bunch of pandan leave.

Sieve the pandan leave water.  Dropped a few drops of food colouring into it and stir.

Refrigerate the pandan water until it is cold enough to use.  You can prepare this 1 day before.

Fillings
Remove the paste from the packing and put it in a bowl.  You can add additional red wine, if you could like to.  Mix well.

Divide the paste into 25g each and set aside.


Snow Skin
Mix all the ingredients together until they are well combine.

Wrap it and store in the refrigerator until it is cold enough to work on it. 

Remove it from the refrigerator.  Spread some glutinous flour on the working top.  Remove the dough from the refrigerator and knead further until the dough is smooth. 

The size of my mooncake mold plunger is 4cm x 4cm.  So I divided the dough into 20g each and shaped them into a ball.  

Lightly dust hand with some glutinous rice flour.  Shape each dough into a ball.  Flatten the ball and roll into a disc.  Place 1 paste in the middle of the disc.  Wrapped it around and shaped it into a ball.

Carefully placed the ball into the mold plunger and slowly pressed out the mooncake.  The mooncake comes out nicely and beautifully. The plunger is indeed so much easier to use than the wooden mold.