jeudi 26 novembre 2015

Happy Thanksgiving

I wanted to wish you all a very healthy and happy Thanksgiving holiday, and to let you know we’ll be taking a few days off to eat, drink, and rest; but mostly eat and drink.

And when I say “days off,” I really mean days off. As much as I’d love to spend the holiday on my laptop, giving you all last-second cooking tips, I’m contractually obligated to take some time off, and who am I to question HR? Have a great Thanksgiving, and we’ll be back with brand new videos next week. And no, they will not feature turkey or pumpkin. So, stay tuned, and as always, enjoy!

.

mardi 24 novembre 2015

Crispy Turkey Flautas – A Great Reason for Buying a Too Big Bird

Most normal people cook a bigger turkey than they need, so they can enjoy some leftovers. There’s nothing better than a fresh turkey sandwich, or three, but after a couple days, that bony carcass is that last thing you want to look at; and that’s where these crispy flautas come in.

As I joked about in the video, when it comes to leftovers, the “add cheese and fry” system is a proven crowd pleaser, but to hedge our bets, we’re also topping with guacamole, sour cream, and salsa. This creates something so different from the holiday meal that you might forget where the turkey actually came from. Depends on how much you’ve been drinking.

Regarding my comment about pre-grated cheese being coated with saw dust – many people on YouTube thought I was joking, but this really is true. That shredded stuff in the bag is coated in a fine cellulose dust, which prevents the pieces of cheese from clumping together. The good news is, grating cheese only takes a minute, and almost anyone can do it.

And if you don’t have old turkey to make these flautas with, eventually you will have some leftover chicken, which would obviously also work. Either way, I hope you give these delicious, crispy flautas a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 12 large turkey flautas:
24 small, white corn tortillas
1 egg white to seal flautas, optional
*1 pound cooked, shredded turkey
6 ounces shredded pepper Jack cheese, sharp cheddar, or a combo of the two (about 2 cups)
1/3 cup chopped green onions
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
*I’ll assume you’re going to use one of our turkey recipes, so your bird will be super moist, but if it isn’t, you can always add a 1/4 cup of chicken broth to the mixture to compensate.
- Garnish with shaved cabbage, guacamole, sour cream, salsa, and freshly chopped cilantro

dimanche 22 novembre 2015

Swiss Meringue Buttercream for Floral Cake Decoration


Attend floral cake decorating class at Baker's brew studio.
Using swiss meringue butter cream for the frosting and flower design which the shape can hold longer.

Practice makes perfect and that what I need..a lot of practice!



What we learn at class:

1. Making swiss meringue buttercream
2. Crumb coat and frosting using piping bag method
3. Piping Blossom flower
4. Piping Sunflower
5. Piping Rosette
6. Piping leaves
 
To make the buttercream flower hold longer in outdoor - replace 50% butter with shortening


Tips used



















Sunflower


























Rosette- 2D or 1 M tip
 Rosie Video instruction for dual colour rosette















Blossom Flower

samedi 21 novembre 2015

Steam osmanthus water chestnut cake


A popular snacks served at dim sum restaurant which I have never try before. Friend requested so trial on this recipe. There are pan fried version,  Kueh texture with crunchy bits of water chestnut. Interesting texture with the added osmathus flower for the extra fragrance. 


Recipe source /Bearnakedfood
Water Chestnut Cake
Ingredients:
115g water chestnut flour
750ml water
4-5  water chestnut
60g castor sugar
60g brown sugar
1tbsp osmanthus flower
Method:
Grease a 9½ inch loaf pan or a square cake tin with a little vegetable oil. 
1.Mix 250g  water to the flour. Stir well to form a paste and set aside for
   30 minutes. 
2.Peel and diced  water chestnut coarsely. 
3.Another pot boil remaining 500g water, add sugar 
4. Make sure the sugar has dissolved. Turn the flame off and add
    osmanthus flower and infuse for 2 mins. 
5. Slowly pour in half the raw paste while continuously stirring. 
6. Turn on low flame, add the other half of the raw paste and chestnut to
    the pot and mix well. The paste is going to be very thick and starchy.
    Do not over cook or become lumpy. 
7. Pour the paste into the loaf pan or cake tin and steam it in a steamer
    over boiling water for 30 minutes.
8.  Remove from steamer and leave to cool. 
9.  Unmold the cake and slice it in rectangles 1 to 1½cm thick. 
     Chill the cake and eat it cold or pan fry the cake in a little oil. 
     Some even coat the cake with batter and deep fry.

vendredi 20 novembre 2015

Turkey & Rice Meatballs (Albondigas) – Perfect for Spanish Thanksgiving

Making delicious meatballs with fatty, flavorful beef is no great feat, but creating something as delectable using ground turkey is another story. As the old joke goes, it may be bland, but at least it’s dry. So, you’re going to need a very specialized strategy, and by “specialized strategy,” I mean some cold, leftover rice.

As these simmer in your sauce or soup, the grains of rice absorb moisture, swell up, and create a relatively tender, moist meatball. Above and beyond that, you’ll also want to look for ground turkey thigh meat (available at most of your higher-priced grocery chains).

By the way, like all meatball/meatloaf recipes, you can test your seasoning by cooking a small piece of the mixture before rolling your ball. Even though the meat hasn’t simmered in the sauce yet, at least you can see if it needs more salt. I’ll just fry up a little patty, and adjust if need be, and suggest you do the same.

I didn’t intend this recipe to be a Thanksgiving dinner alternative, but now that I think about it, these could actually work. Maybe you have a small group, or don’t like looking at a giant carcass on the table (hey, some people are weird like that), or your in-laws are Spanish, and you want to show them you can pronounce “albondigas.”  Whatever the occasion, I hope you give these a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for about 20-24 small meatballs:
1 pound ground turkey thigh meat
1 packed cup cooked white long grain rice
3 cloves crushed garlic 
1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
1 large egg
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon olive oil

For the sauce (I didn’t measure these ingredients, so these are just guesses)
2 1/2 cups prepared tomato sauce
1 cup chicken broth, plus more as needed
1 teaspoon paprika
1/3 cup crème fraiche or heavy cream
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
2 tbsp chopped Italian parsley
salt and pepper to taste

mardi 17 novembre 2015

Tuscan Bean Soup – Cheer Up!

Our grandparents called them the winter blues, but nowadays we know this condition as Seasonal Affective Disorder; a melancholy scientifically proven to be caused by shorter, darker days. 

Since fall and winter are full of those, we’re going to need some coping strategies, and this hearty Tuscan bean soup is one of the more effective. There’s just something about that combo of smooth, silky soup, and crunchy, crispy croutons that makes everything seem okay. 

Speaking of shorter days, this recipe is also a fantastic base for creating even more substantial weeknight meals. Things like sausage, peppers, and/or maybe a handful of greens, always works in this.

I tried a new method prepping our veggies; pureeing them instead of dicing. I thought this might save time, possibly extract more flavor, and quicken the cooking. Hey, two out of three aren’t bad! It was faster than dicing, and the soup only had to simmer for 15 minutes, but I didn’t think the flavor was quite as good as the classic diced veggies method.

Either way, this soup is delicious, and guaranteed to fog up your kitchen windows. Smiley face sold separately. I really hope you give this Tuscan bean soup a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 4 servings:
1 onion, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 carrot, diced
3 cloves garlic
*As stated in the post, I prefer diced veggies to the ground ones I tried in the video, and if you do go for the traditional method and cut your vegetables in small cubes, you'll have to simmer you soup for about 30 minutes, or until they are sweet and very tender.
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste
cayenne to taste
1/2 teaspoon chopped rosemary
1/2 teaspoon picked thyme leaves
2 (15-oz) cans white kidney beans aka cannellini beans
4 cups chicken broth
1/3 cup crème fraiche or heavy cream
1/2 lemon, juiced
- Garnish with fresh bread cubes fried golden in olive oil, tossed with Parmigiano Reggiano, and fresh Italian parsley.

lundi 16 novembre 2015

Sweet Potato Ondeh Ondeh

 
Most of the recipe looks similar so I trial on this which turned out yummy.
Chewy skin and filling ooze out as you bite!
Enjoy it in one mouthful!
 

Sweet Potato Ondeh-Ondeh (About 24)

 
Skin Ingredients:
150g-160g Sweet Potato or Purple potato(Steam & Mashed)
150 g Glutinous Rice Flour
85 g Icy Cold Water 
12 g Caster Sugar
 
Filling:
100 g Palm Sugar (Gula Melaka) 

Coating:
100 g Shredded Coconut (I use dessicated coconut)
1/4tsp Salt  (Omit if use dessicated coconut)
1 Pandan Leaf, tied a knot

Others:
Pot of water for boiling 
Another pot of icy cold water for dipping the cook ondeh


Method
 1. Leave a bowl of water in fridge for later use further use.
2. Chop the gula melaka roughly. Place in a stick blender, blitz until resembles
    fine crumbs. Set aside. ( big lump take longer to dissolve) 

3. If using fresh grated coconut - Mix coconut with salt. Steam with pandan leaf
    until soft. * I used dessicated coconut need not steam or add salt. 
 
4.  Mix mashed steam sweet potato with sugar
5.  Add the mashed potato with flour until resemble crumbs
6.  Add water to mix gradually and knead the dough till its pliable and not
     sticky.
7.  Place the dough in a bowl, cover with a clean, wet tea towel to prevent
     dryness.
8.  Portion dough in 13-15g and roll into ball. Flatten and fill it with gula melaka
     (Do not over fill). Seal it and roll into ball, line on plate and cover with cling 
     wrap to avoid dough drying. 
9.  Remove bowl of water from the freezer.
10. Boil a pot of water and drop in ondeh ondeh until they float.
     Cook the ondeh a little longer for gula Melaka to melt completely.
     Trial out one to ensure the filling melt and ozz out.
11. Remove from boiling water and place it into cold water for chewy texture
12.  Drain the ondeh and roll over fresh grated or dessicated coconut to serve.

You can wrap half of the sweet potato dough and keep it in fridge for another day.

Enjoy!
Please let it cool awhile or u will burn your tongue when the filling ozze out. :)
Have it on the same day as the skin turned a bit hard on the 2nd day.



dimanche 15 novembre 2015

Chocolate Mousse Cake for Jaden 5th Birthday

Chocolate mousse cake decorated with chocolate ganach and swiss meringue buttercream. Lot of preparation but am glad that it turned out well.








 


Chocolate Cake(Swiss Roll)
Ingredient
Group 1
6 Egg Yolks
45g castor sugar

Group 2
70g Fresh Milk

Group 3
60g Corn Oil
30g Cocoa Powder
* Dissolve

Group 4
90g Cake flour
6gm Baking powder

Group 5
6 Egg White
90g castor sugar

 
Method
  1. Whisk Group 1 till fluffy and pale
  2. At low speed, add in Group 2 follow by 3, mix well.
  3. Add in Group 4(Flour mixture) mix lightly, do not overmix.
  4. In another clean bowl, whisk group 5(egg white) till foamy at medium speed and add in 1/4 sugar continue and whisk in remaining till stiff peak.
  5. Fold in egg white mixture into egg yolk batter till well combined, do not over fold.
  6. Batter should be thick and fluffy.
  7. Spread on 13" x 15" tray and bake 180C for +-15-18mins
  8. Spring foam tin @160C for 40mins.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream(Green Grass)
150g Egg White
100g caster sugar
250g Salted butter (slightly soften/cut in cubes)
1 Tbsp maple syrup(optional)

Method
Mix egg white & sugar and place over double boil and stir till sugar dissolve (65-75C)
Whisk egg white till firm and add in butter when egg white is cool completely
Add butter gradually and mix till smooth and creamy texture
Add maple syrup(optional)


Dark Chocolate Mousse
70ml whipping cream*

175g dark coverture chocolate

1/2 tbsp unsalted butter

Method
Whipped cream till firm and add in melted chocolate , mix well


Chocolate Ganache         
227 grams semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, cut into small pieces
3/4 cup (180 ml) heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons (28 grams) unsalted butter
1-2 tsp brandy (optional)
 Method
Heat whipped cream & butter (microwave 1 min) and pour over chocolate
Let it stand and stir after 5 mins.
Add brandy, mix well and chilled till texture thicken for piping or frosting.
 
Assemble
Slice cut cake into 2 layers and spray water water syrup on sponge followed by spreading the mousse over.
Place 2nd layer and spread ganache over entire cake
Decorate cake with buttercream grass





 

vendredi 13 novembre 2015

Bacon Cheddar and Spinach Strata – We’re Rocking the Breakfast Casserole

For such a simple dish, I sure have a lot of additional info to cover regarding the construction of this beautiful bacon, cheddar, and spinach strata. First of which, is the somewhat unusual name. Whoever invented this recipe apparently thought it looked like layers of rock, known in geological circles as, “strata.”

I guess it sort of does, and probably would a lot more, if we used a deeper dish, and did more layers. Regardless, even with just one layer of filling in the middle, you’ll still be looking at a gorgeous casserole, which should thoroughly impress your brunch guests…bottomless Mimosas or no.

As I mentioned in the video, if you want something a little eggier, a little more quiche-like, just simply increase the amount of egg custard used. As long as your pan is deep enough, you could as much as double the eggs and cream in this.

Speaking of the cream, this is a very rich dish, so you may want to cut the cream with milk. In fact, many people use all milk for this, but I do enjoy the extra butterfat the cream provides. As usual, let your conscience be your guide.

Above and beyond that, this recipe just begs for personalization. I’m not sure what your favorite omelet ingredients are, but I do know they would work in this, and work really well. I hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 12 portions:
1 pound loaf of day old bread, cubed
12 large eggs
2 1/2 cups heavy cream, milk, or any combination thereof
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
pinch cayenne
pinch nutmeg
1 pound bacon, sliced and cooked crisp
1 pound fresh spinach, wilted, and squeezed dry (or enough thawed, drained frozen spinach to cover one layer)
12 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, divided (use 1/2 over the first layer of bread, 1/4 over the spinach, and the last 1/4 over the top layer of bread)
- Bake at 350 F. for 45 minutes or until set. Then broil for a minute or two to brown the top.

lundi 9 novembre 2015

Sweet Potato Muffins – The Sweet Potato Pie of Muffins

Sometimes you don’t have a good reason for not loving a certain recipe, and that’s how it is for me with sweet potato pie. It just does not do it for me, and I don’t even know what “it” is. However, I thought the same flavors could work for a holiday-inspired sweet potato muffin, and I was thrilled with the results.

These are perfect if you have leftover sweet potatoes during the holidays, but if not, totally worth cooking a few just for this easy recipe. I microwaved mine for about 6 or 7 minutes, until they were very soft, but roasting, or boiling will also work.

By the way, we’re not using sweet potatoes for our sweet potato muffin; we’re using yams, which are actually just incorrectly named orange-fleshed sweet potatoes.  So, I guess never mind.

As I mention in the video, these muffins are just a little bit of frosting away from being cupcakes. I’ve never understood the allure of mini marshmallows on a sweet potato casserole, but something tells me some “fluff” would work well on these, as well. I really hope you give them a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 24 Sweet Potato Muffins:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup melted butter
2 cups mashed sweet potato or “yams”
1 cup chopped pecans, plus more for the top
demerara sugar for the tops

- Bake for 25 minutes at 350 F. or until a wooden skewer comes out clean.

samedi 7 novembre 2015

Lemon Grass Tea

Read all about the health benefits of lemongrass and ginger. And when combined, they work synergistically, powerfully, and effectively. You would benefit from drinking this tea if you …

  • are juice fasting/feasting
  • are undergoing a detox program
  • want to lose weight
  • want to improve your immune system
  • have a highly acidic blood
  • have a health problem that is a result of imbalanced intestinal flora
  • have yeast, bladder or urinary tract infection




Ingredients
  • 150 grams lemongrass (serai) pounded to release the flavour
  • 5 pandan  leaves tied in a knot
  • 5 slices ginger
  • 1.8 litres water
  • 40 grams rock sugar or honey rock sugar to taste
  • 2 Tbsp Lemon juice (Optional) 

Directions

  1. In a pot, add the ingredients except rock sugar. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 20-30 minutes.
  2. Add rock sugar and stir until dissolved. Discard lemongrass stalks, ginger and pandan. Drink warm or chilled.

 

vendredi 6 novembre 2015

Crispy Farro Cakes – All Killer, No Filler

I had some crispy farro cakes at a restaurant a while back, and thought they would make for an interesting video, but when I started to research various recipes and techniques, I discovered something a little surprising; there was no such thing as a “pure” farro cake.

Every recipe I came across had some type of filler used to help bind the mixture together. I didn’t really understand this, until I proceeded to make a batch using nothing but cooked and cooled farro. They completely fell apart in the pan, and I ended up with something more like crispy fried rice. Not a bad thing by any means, but not farro cakes.

After a few more experiments, I discovered that by using a little egg, and a touch of finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, I was able to make it work with no non-ancient grain additions. The whole key is the crust. By letting the first side cook until a well-browned, crispy surface forms, the cakes develop enough structure to make the flip possible.

One thing I failed to mention in the clip; you should check your mixture for seasoning before frying the cakes. I used a good amount of salt when I cooked my farro, but you should still taste and adjust.

And while these were great with the crème fraiche and golden trout roe, there are so many ways these could be otherwise used. As usual, I’ll be lurking on Twitter and Instagram to see what you come up with, so fair warning. I really hope you give these a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for about 6 farro cakes:
1 cup farro, not rinsed
3 cups water
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 springs thyme
3 garlic cloves, finely minced or crushed
1/2 cup finely diced onion
- simmer covered about 45 minutes until very tender, drain well, but DO NOT rinse

Then add:
1/4 cup finely diced red bell pepper
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 ounce (about a 2-inch square piece) freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano (if you use real Parmigiano Reggiano, and grate it on a microplane, you’ll get about 3/4 of a cup)
1 large egg
pinch cayenne
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup olive oil for frying

mardi 3 novembre 2015

Gingersnap Cookies – Hot, Hot, Sweet

I always tell people I’m not a cookie eater, but I guess that depends on the cookie, since when it comes to these gingersnaps, I can’t get enough. As soon as these cool, I chain-eat them until they’re gone; but that’s not my fault. I blame the amazing spicy-sweet flavor, and irresistible texture.

Speaking of irresistible texture, I’ve got some homework for you. You’re going to have to make batches of these to find out your own optimum baking time. I know, it’s hard work, but you need to somehow find a way. 

Depending on the exact size of your dough balls, and how crispy, or chewy, you want these, the baking times will vary from 10 to 15 minutes. As far as ingredients go, the crystalized ginger is technically optional, but not too hard to find (check the bulk section), and it really gives the cookies that extra kick of ginger flavor and heat. 

Obviously, you can also adjust the spices to suit your tastes, but don’t make these too mild. They’re called “snaps” for reasons other than their texture. I really hope you give these a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for about 50 to 60 cookies (depending on size):
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
12 tablespoons room temp unsalted butter
2/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup finely chopped candied ginger
1/4 cup molasses
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg, beaten
- Bake at 350 F. for 10 to 15 minutes, depending on desired texture.

lundi 2 novembre 2015

Ondeh Ondeh Cake

 
    Thanks to a dear friend who share this recipe from a baking class.
    This cake is sold in their café and its one of the their popular cakes to order.

    This cake is a replica of ondeh ondeh kueh but in a cake texture which uses   
    Gula Melaka/coconut and coconut buttercream for the frosting.

    Fragrant pandan cake blend with gula melake , good match!
    The only thing I would change is using fresh pandan juice instead of pandan
    paste.