lundi 29 juin 2015

Carrot Cake with cream cheese frosting

My 2nd attempt baking this ang mo carrot cake using another recipe from KitchenTigress. The 1st attempt was using rice cooker and the texture is moist and dense, while this recipe gives a Light and moist texture.

This recipe requires more carrot and nuts which includes raisin as well, which is nice like a fruit cake! It taste even better with Cream cheese frosting! 

Recipe source from kitchentigress

85g brazil nuts, chopped (I used walnuts)
Grated zest of one medium orange
280g grated carrot(2-3 carrots)
225g self rising flour
1 round tsp ground cinnamon (I used level 1 tsp)
1 tsp baking soda
175g muscovado sugar ( I used brown sugar 170g)
175g vegetable oil
3 eggs 

115g raisin ( I used 80g) soaked in 2 tbsp orange juice
1 tsp vanilla extract (Optional, not in original recipe)

1.  Preheat oven to 160degC
2.  Line and grease 20cm square tin
3.  Whisk sugar and oil till smooth
4.  Add in egg one at a time till well mixed
5.  Add in the sifted flour/baking soda/cinnamon and rest of the ingredient into

6.  Pour mixture into pan and bake for 50mins to an hour or when an inserted
     skewer come out clean.

7.  Cool the cake in tin for 5min before turning it out on wire rack to cool.
8.  Frost top of the cake with cream cheese and sprinkled with crushed walnuts

B) Crèam Cheese
(Can halved the portion for frosting one cake) 
* I would usually make one portion and use remaining frosting for macaron filling or cupcake frosting

250g cream cheese, thawed
115g unsalted butter, room temperature

100g icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1.5 tbsp lemon juice

1. Whisk cream cheese and butter till creamy add vanilla extract
2. Mix in icing sugar followed by lemon juice and mix well.
3. Keep in fridge if not ready to use


Sweet Potato Buns – Great for Burgers, and Learning How to Bake Without Fear

Not only does adding sweet potatoes to a burger bun make it more nutritious, delicious, and significantly more beautiful, but it also presents the perfect opportunity to get pass your flour amount phobia, and finally be able to make dough by feel.

Every once in a while, I’ll get an email from someone whose dough was way too wet, or dry, and I always think the same thing; why would you stop? Some actually tell me they had to throw out the whole batch, which is insane. Your dough’s too wet? Add some flour. Too dry? Add some water.

No matter how exact a recipe is written, you simply can’t go by measurements, volume or weight, and expect perfection. There are too many variables that effect how much flour is needed – like a cup of mashed sweet potatoes, for example.

The best strategy is to not add all the flour at once, and only add enough to achieve the soft, slightly tacky dough seen herein. One of the great advantages of video is being able to see what the dough should look and feel like.

Once you get comfortable with not worrying about exact amounts, but rather exact results, the world of bread opens up to you and your new-found powers. Now, you just need to practice, so with that in mind, I really hope you give these amazing sweet potato buns a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 8 large, 16 medium, or 32 slider-sized rolls:

For sponge:
1 package (2 1/2 tsp) dry active yeast (I used Fleischmann's “RapidRise” Yeast)
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup AP flour

Then add:
1 cup mashed orange sweet potato (also sold as yams)
2 tsp honey
1 1/4 teaspoons fine salt
1 large egg
3 tablespoons melted butter
3 to 3 1/2 cups flour AP flour, as needed to form the right texture dough (see blog post)

- Bake at 400 F. for 15 minutes, or until browned. Large buns may take an extra few minutes, and the sliders-sized may take a minute or two less.

vendredi 26 juin 2015

Teriyaki Burgers and a Sweet Potato Bun Tease

Your classic teriyaki burger is usually nothing more than a plain patty, which has been glazed in teriyaki sauce; and by “teriyaki sauce,” I mean a thick, one-dimensional syrup made from sugar, soy, and MSG. If you’re enjoying your third pint at a sports bar, these work out just fine, but good luck adapting them for your next cookout.

Here we’re using a different, drier approach, and adding the key teriyaki flavorings to the ground meat. This gives us a burger or slider with the taste of teriyaki, without having to deal with a sauce. This recipe should work no matter the cooking method, although a medium-hot charcoal grill would be my preference, weather permitting.

No matter how you grill these, I highly recommend they end up on a homemade sweet potato slider bun. Besides another way to tweak the humble hamburger, this clip was intended to be a sneak preview for some rather amazing buns. We’ll post that sometime Monday, just in case you want to add it to your 4th of July menu. So stay tuned, and as always, enjoy!

Ingredients for four (4-oz) burgers:
1 pound ground beef (85/15 lean to fat ratio)
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sake
1 tablespoon mirin
1 tsp sriracha, or other hot sauce to taste
2 tsp brown sugar

Chocolate Ganache(Favourite)

My favourite chocolate frosting for my cakes and cupcakes,  rich ,thick and the taste is elevated with adding the liqueur (brandy).

The amount is good enough to frost a 9" cake and filling as well.

180g semisweet      

47g dark chocolate(70% cocoa) 
3/4 cup (180 ml) heavy whipping cream
2 tbsp (28 grams) butter
1-3 tsp liqueur/Brandy/Rum (optional)     

Preparation Chocolate Ganache: 
1. Heat the cream and butter in microwave for 2mins).
2. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and allow to stand for a few minutes.
3. Stir gently until smooth. If desired, add the liqueur(I used 2 tsp brandy).

4. Keep in freezer till it become firm and spread or pipe over cake/cupcake

*make truffle if you have left over , roll into small ball and dust with 

Other usage:

Filling for Chocolate Macaron

Coating for strawberry

Frosting for log cake

Frosting for Cupcake

Frosting for Nutella mud cake

Frosting for cake

mardi 23 juin 2015

Butter Puff Biscuit Dough – Faster, Easier, and Not Great for Shortcake

As promised, this is the puff pastry-like dough I used in the apple roses video, and while not exactly “ quick and easy,” this was definitely quicker and easier. Just don’t try and make strawberry shortcake with this stuff.

I wanted to use this dough as the centerpiece of our strawberry shortcake video, but unfortunately the cold pastry was way too hard to cut with a spoon, and so I ended up using a much more traditional, and user-friendly biscuit.   

That aside, as a puff pastry substitute, I think this was a huge success. Hopefully, you saw this in action in the apple roses video, which, by the way, was done with scraps. Besides fruit tarts, I’d love to try this for things like ham and cheese turnovers, and chocolate croissants.

With that in mind, I hope any and all successful experiments with this dough will be shared on social media; mostly so I can copy your ideas. By the way, there seems to a little controversy on YouTube as to the exact number of layers we got, so what say you? I hope you give this butter puff biscuit dough a try soon. Enjoy!

2 cups self-rising flour (You can make you own by sifting together 2 cups of all-purpose flour with 1 tablespoon baking powder, and 1 teaspoon fine salt)
3/4 cup cold water (add enough water to make a soft, but not sticky dough)
*7 tablespoons frozen unsalted butter (a stick is 8 tablespoons)

*I grated on about 4 tablespoons for the first application, and about 3 tablespoons for the second.
- I generally bake this stuff at 400 F.  Time will depend on what it’s being used for.

dimanche 21 juin 2015

Hello Kitty Cake

Prepared this Hello Kitty cake to celebrate Father's day though it may not be appropriate for a father figure to like such cute cake.

Anyway, I bought this mould for some time and its time for experiment.

There's many way to decorate this cake, some uses meringue or fondant for a pure white kitty face but I use cream cheese since I still have some frosting left for my cupcakes.

Love the combination of cream cheese and ground peanut , so I use it for the side and not affecting the kitty face. The little one were fascinated by the cake.


Bake one 7" sponge cake, using any cake recipe you like 
I used plain vanilla sponge cake  

For cream costing and frosting:

A) 1 cup whipped cream for crumb coat
Whisk till firm peak

B) Crèam Cheese from Martha Stewart)
250g cream cheese, thawed
115g unsalted butter, room temperature

100g icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1.5 tbsp lemon juice

1. Whisk cream cheese and butter till creamy add vanilla extract
2. Mix in icing sugar followed by lemon juice and mix well.
3. Keep in fridge if not ready to use

Assembling the cake
1.Decorate the cake when it completely cool
2.Crump coat the cake with whipped cream or directly with cream cheese
3. Use a small star to pipe the cream cheese all over the face
4. Use black icing (ready one from Phoon huat) to outline the eyes, nose,
    whisker and flower

5. Mix the cream cheese with yellow colouring for the nose and red for the
    ribbon and use small star tip to fill the ribbon and nose.

6. Mix some cream cheese with round peanut and apply it on the side of the

vendredi 19 juin 2015

Chef John’s "Sunset" Michelada – I Only Refer to Myself in the 3rd Person When I Drink

About halfway through this video production for how to make a Michelada, I realized I was getting paid to drink beer, which made the experience that much more enjoyable, and that’s saying a lot.

This spicy, savory, tangy, amazingly refreshing beer-based cocktail is considered one of the best hot-weather, adult beverages ever. I’ve heard it described as “Bloody Mary meets Mimosa,” which makes me never want to go to brunch again, but it’s also kind of accurate.

While that may not sound like something you would enjoy, most people do, and very much so. And the hotter it is, the more they enjoy, both literally and figuratively.  There’s something about how that slightly bitter, effervescent beer works with the sweet-sour-spicy profile of the other ingredients.

Even though they may seem like odd additions, things like the soy and Worcestershire are very important here, since they bring savoriness, or “umami” as the foodies would call it, to the drink.

I would never wish a horrendous heat wave on anybody, but, if one were to come your way, I hope you give this delicious, and restorative, Michelada “beertail” a try soon. Enjoy!

For Each Michelada:
lots of ice
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp hot sauce or to taste
1/8 tsp soy sauce
juice from half a lime (use other half to rim glasses with salt, freshly ground black pepper, and chili pepper)
1/4 to 1/3 cup tomato juice or homemade vegetable juice (see below)
1/2 bottle ice-cold Mexican lager (6 oz)
lime slices to garnish

For the vegetable juice (makes about 3 cups):
2 pints sweet cherry tomatoes, washed, drained
1/4 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
salt and pepper to taste (unless you use a ton on the rim like I did)

mercredi 17 juin 2015

Mocha Semifreddo – Bad Technique Makes for a Great Frozen Summer Dessert

I got a request for semifreddo recently, and since it is a massively underrated summer dessert, I decided to give it a go. I love the rich taste, and the fact that you get what’s basically an airy, custard-style ice cream, without having to use a machine. However, it all comes at a cost.

The classic procedure is a little bothersome, since you need to make three separate components – a zabaione, a meringue, and whipped cream – so, I decided to simply use the eggs whole, and make a “zabaringue.” I knew I wouldn’t get as much volume, but I didn’t care.

One of my issues with semifreddo is that they’re sometimes too airy, and the flavor gets spread too thin.That wasn’t a problem here, and yet this much simpler version retained a wonderfully light texture despite the shortcut. I decided on a mocha-flavored semifreddo, since coffee is a pretty manly ingredient, and this sure would make a nice Father’s Day dessert. I hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!

Warning: Answering questions about how to use this technique to make other flavors is tough, since there are many variables. Theoretically, if you replace the coffee and liquor, with other “stuff,” then you should get a similar product. Good luck!

Ingredients for 2 portions:
- For the egg/coffee mixture:
 2 large egg eggs
 2 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp instant coffee
1 tablespoon Kahlua
1 tsp unsweetened cocoa
tiny pinch salt
 - For the whipped cream:
1/4 cup ice cold heavy whipping cream
1 tbsp sugar
-Combine and freeze until firm. If using a loaf pan, line with plastic first!

lundi 15 juin 2015

Nectarine Salsa – Stone Cold Delicious

I’ve always loved the marvelous contrast between a hot, smoky piece of meat, and a cold, fruity salsa; and this version featuring nectarines did not disappoint. In fact, the only thing that pairs better with this fresh fruit salsa is a basket of crispy tortilla chips.

This salsa will work with any stone fruit, but nectarines are my favorite. They’re usually sweet, even when still a bit firm, which I prefer texturally over a perfectly ripe price of fruit. Having said that, if you do have a few peaches to use up this summer, this is something to keep in mind.

As I said in my closing arguments at the end of the video, if you think fruit salsa is just too weird, then you need to be reminded that tomato, a fruit, is the most popular salsa ingredient of all time. I rest my case…again. Hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for about 2 cups Nectarine Salsa:
*Note: everything here is “to taste,” so adjust accordingly.
1 cup finely diced nectarine
1/3 cup finely diced onions
1/2 cup finely diced red bell pepper
2 tbsp finely diced jalapeno pepper
1 tbsp chopped cilantro
2 tsp olive oil
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp salt, plus more to taste
pinch cayenne
pinch freshly ground black pepper

dimanche 14 juin 2015

Macaron (Laduree reciep)

Saw one of the blogger Not So Humble pie posting on this Laduree recipe taken from Ladurée Sucre recipe book.
Read a few others who had also tried the recipe hence decided to give it a try using my new macaron mat,edible markers and my left over chocolate ganache and cream cheese filling.
The sugar used its lesser with more of almond flour so I find the texture heavy and more folds  to achieve the lava look texture. I suppose I didn't sift the flour twice so the macaron shell was not as smooth, grainy.  As shared by the blogger, the shell tends to crack more than normal recipe.
The shell does look shinny but find it a bit wet and texture is softer.
I still prefer my chocolate macaron recipe from Joy of baking as the coco powder added into the shell balance the sweetness and I love the firmer texture.
I rather compromise on the look to get a tastier macaron.

Recipe adapted from Not So Humble Pte
-138g almond flour
-125g powdered sugar
-105g egg whites (doesn't need to be aged)
-105g granulated sugar
pinch of salt
food coloring
1. Sift almond flour, salt, and powdered sugar together into a large bowl.
    Set aside.
2. Weigh out your egg whites, and put it in a large bowl (either stand mixer
    or not).
3. Beat your egg whites until frothy, and slowly add in the granulated sugar.
4. Once sugar dissolves, beat at medium high speed until thick and glossy.
    It should look a bit droopy but that's fine because when you turn the bowl
    over, it doesn't come out.
5. Add in 1/3 of your almond powdered sugar mixture and mix until just
    combined. Add in the rest in small additions and then fold until thick but still
    flowing in consistency.
6. Put it in a piping bag and pipe out 1-1.75 inch circles on a baking sheet lined
    with parchment or Silpat. Then rap the trays on the table until they are
    flattened to get rid of air bubbles. Only pipe one tray at a time because you
    can only bake one tray at a time.
7. Preheat your oven to 300 F (150 C).
8. Let the macarons dry (I used fan for 20-30mins) or when the shell form a
    layer which is dry to touch.
9. When it's almost time to bake them, you can pipe out your next tray.
10. Bake the macarons for 15 minutes and let it cool.
11. Fill with your favorite cream cheese and ganache let mature in the fridge for
     24 hours or the texture will be crispy. Its very important to let the macaron
     mature for a day to get a soft and chewy texture.


You may be interested:
Chocolate Macaron(JOB)
Strawberry Macaron(Angela Seah)

Blue Macaron

vendredi 12 juin 2015

Beef, Bean, and Beer Chili – What a Great Way to Lose a Beer

As the legend goes, someone was making a batch of chili one day, while drinking too much beer, and due to a series of unfortunate events, a bottle was dropped into the pot. 

By the time it was fished out, the contents had escaped, and a new, delicious version of chili was born. As a former line cook, I'd say that sounds about right.

This recipe reminds me of the decision we’re faced with whenever we make beef stew. Should we deglaze with wine, or just our broth? Both make great, but differently flavored stews, so it really just depends on your mood, and also whether you're willing to sacrifice your adult beverage.

As I mention in the video, hot chili is a very underrated summer menu item. Bring a big ol’ thermos of this to a picnic, or other warm weather cookout, and it makes a great side to those grilled burgers and dogs. Just have some insulated cups around, and maybe some hot sauce, and you’re in business. I hope you give this beef, bean, and beer chili a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 6 portions:
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 diced onion
2 pounds ground beef
2 tsp salt, plus more to taste
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 tbsp ancho chile powder, or to taste (I like ancho, but any high-quality ground chili pepper will work)
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tsp paprika
1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (12-oz) bottle of beer
1 cup tomato puree or crushed tomatoes
2 cups water, or as needed
2/3 cup diced green pepper (I used poblano, but a combo of jalapeno and green bell works great too)
2 (12 ounce) cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed well

jeudi 11 juin 2015

Breaking News! (Actually, a Minor Programming Note)

As many of you know, we've been posting with the same frequency for many years; alternating between three video weeks and two video weeks. One week it's Monday-Wednesday-Friday, and the next it's Tuesday-Thursday. Well, starting this week, whenever we have a two video week, we'll post on Tuesday and Friday instead.

This not only spreads out production a little better, but word on the street is that you get more views on a Friday than a Thursday. I'm not sure why I haven't thought of this before, but better late than never. Don't think of it as having to wait an extra day this week to see a new video, think of it as seeing next week's first video a day early. Thanks, and as always, enjoy!


mardi 9 juin 2015

Classic Macaroni Salad – Delicious is In the Details

I can’t believe I’ve never posted a video for my take on summer’s most iconic pasta salad. Whether it’s sitting next to some smoky ribs, or just a humble hot dog, this deli-style macaroni salad will always be a crowd-favorite, as long as you pay attention to a few key details.

The most important things are to not rinse the macaroni, and to let it cool before adding the dressing. If you add it while the pasta is too hot, the mayo sort of melts, and you get a greasy salad. By letting it cool, while tossing, the macaroni gets nice and tacky, and will grab the sauce a lot better.

I mention in the video, I don’t put as much sugar as many of the web’s most popular versions call for. For this much dressing, a half-cup of sugar is not uncommon, which for my taste is way too much. Since we’re adding all those sweet veggies, just a spoon or two is all you should need.

As long as you follow the technique shown, you can tweak the vegetables and dressing ingredients to your liking, but no matter what you put in, try to let it sit overnight before serving. The flavors will develop, the macaroni will fully absorb the dressing, and all you’ll need to do is taste, adjust, and serve. I hope you give easy salad a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 12 portions:
1 pound (4 cups) uncooked elbow macaroni, cooked in well-salted water
For the dressing:
1 cup mayonnaise, plus an extra spoon as needed
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 or 2 tbsp white sugar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tsp kosher salt, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne
1/2 cup green onions, white and light parts
1 cup finely diced celery
3/4 cup diced red bell pepper
1/2 cup diced green pepper (I used poblano and jalapeno)
1/2 cup grated carrot

vendredi 5 juin 2015

Bacon and Egg Doughnuts! Perfect for Real and Made-Up Holidays

I’ve always wanted to try making some kind of sweet/savory bacon-studded fritter using pâte à choux, also known as that stuff you make cream puffs with. It’s such beautifully rich, eggy dough, yet fries up to a surprisingly light, puffy texture.

Today is National Doughnut Day, as you know if you’ve been on Twitter in the last 48 hours, and so I decided to give it a go, and called it a "doughnut" in a cheap attempt to garner extra National Doughnut Day web traffic. That's also why I keep mentioning National Doughnut Day.

I went full breakfast theme, and topped mine with a little maple syrup, but feel free to get your beignet on, and cover them with a pile of powdered sugar. That’s not my preference, due to the mustache issue mentioned in the clip, but people with hair-free lips seem to like it.

Whether you’re going to surprise dad with a plate of these for Fathers Day, or you just want to tell your friends and co-workers you made bacon and egg doughnuts, I hope you give these a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 8 to 10 small Bacon and Egg Doughnuts:
(this is a half a recipe, so I would highly recommend doubling everything)
6 strips bacon, sliced, browned, cooled, and chopped (save some for the tops)
1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp cold water
4 tbsp unsalted butter
1/8 tsp salt
1 tablespoon sugar
pinch of fresh nutmeg
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
vegetable oil for deep frying
maple syrup to garnish

- Fry at 350 F. for about 7 minutes, turning often, until puffed and well-browned
* If doing in batches, hold in a warm oven

jeudi 4 juin 2015

Taiwan 27-31 may 2015

Its the time of the year when the whole company will travel together -staff incentive trip. This time we heading to Taiwan ! A 5 days 4 night Free & Easy.

1st day
Took China Air (heard  a lot of negative feedback on the service staff and food)
True enough the Food really sucks but the crew are quite pleasant. The plane is equipped with touch screen but not user friendly for music selection.
Our flight was 1405pm but took off half an hr late and arrived TW in the evening 7pm(4hrs+).  Had something to fill your stomach first if you are particular with food.

SIm Card/Wifi
The first thing we need to get is SIM card just outside the arrival hall.
Its very affordable here, for a 5 days unlimited data and free 50min calls for  $300(Less than $15!) The speed is pretty fast even when you are in outskirt.

Taipei Garden Hotel @ XiMengDing
A good hotel in Taiwan Standard , new /clean and the room size is huge and staff are friendly and good bfast spread too!

Nearest station is XiMengDing about 10-15mins walk if the weather is cooling
Bus Stop(just outside Hotel) Take 307 to Ximending(2 stop) or Taiwan station (3rd stop) for $15 Or Cab =$180-200
Alternatively, you can walk about 10-15mins

 After checking in at hotel around 9pm we head straight for steamboat buffet at XMD.
Each pax is 650(Less than $30) where u can have unlimited seafood/meat and better grade ice cream 
The Mala soup base is a must try!

Left: Mala / Right: Milk soup base
2nd Day 
After our breakfast at Hotel, we head off to Ximengding (shops only opens at 11am)
Yong he Soya milk- nothing special though

My 1st buy cos of the hot weather- $480(S$21) find it expensive though
Meeting my Taiwan Friend Chia Hui and Chia Xing Family 
The couple was still dating when I last met them 2013
Dinner at Dubu House - A popular restaurant and reservation required!

Day 3 - Sight seeing tour to Yeliu/ Jiu Fen/ Shi Fen
We book a 7 seater van with driver who will drive us to the popular tourist spot.
The van rental is $5500(S$243) + driver (starts form 9am till 7pm)
After the tour, the driver Ah Hua was nice to drop us at Wu fen pu for shopping and waited an hr plus and fetch us back to hotel.
Ah Hua contact: +886 935 034 668
For a smaller group of 2-4 can rent his taxi at $3800(S$168)
            The 7 seater van comes with Kaole system and free wifi!
1st stop Yeliu
- beautiful stone landscape, need a bit of climbing up the hill but its worth it, please wear proper track shoe for comfort.

 It was so hot and sunny that we skip the Yeliu Park  and we stopped at GuiHou
Fish market for some fresh seafood.


Fresh Uni price range from $150-250 per/pc and a plate of Sashimi for $260
6 grilled oyster for $200
Stir fry bamboo clam$260 and Squip $250

There are tentage market just opposite the Yeliu park which sells fruits and some dried seafood and I bought some dried shrimp which my colleague said it's nice and cheaper compared to those in spore.

Crispy dried fish spicy or sweet favour 

2nd stop - Jiu Fen  
Top of the mountain where u get very scenic mountain views and visit the food street for souvenir and snacks, come with an empty stomach!

View after Sunset

Crispy pancake wrap with BBQ pork -this is very nice! Buy 3 get 1 free = $200ea
Some of the Street food we tried, grill snail, mushroom and fried salted mushroom(taste better), fen yuen(very good), smelly doufu and  

Popian skin wrapped with Peanut and ice cream $60 , must try!
There's a hotel's bread shop beside it which the bread are freshly baked and not expensive.
Surprisinly I managed to find the Xin Zhu peanut butter jam(which my family loves) Selling at $180(Xin Zhu selling $130)