Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Potato Pan Cake

Posted by Sweeter side of life at 23:35:00 2 comments Links to this post
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I needed to feed my brother fast today since he was in a rush to leave the house. There was no time to look at my cook books for ideas, i needed to decide-fast! I rummaged around my kitchen and found 2 plump potatoes and thought they looked fine. The potatoes thus underwent an extreme make over- washed, peeled, grated and fried till crispy golden brown. Later on, i thought they might be feeling quite lonely, so i beat and season 2 eggs to join the party on the hot pan. They were all on fire! For a savoury ending, i speckled their face with some salt and pepper.




Since potatoes aren't considered as vegetables from my point of view, i made a salsa using cherry tomatoes with a splash of basalmic vinegar and a drizzle of olive oil, spiced with some paprika.

So easy! However, russet potatoes don't work so well- waxy potatoes are better. I had to rinse the grated potatoes a few good times and really dry it before cooking to prevent it from becoming soggy. To up the fragrance level, add a tiny little tsp of salted butter to the cooking oil- HMMM :D

Sunday, 28 March 2010

M&M Brownies

Posted by Sweeter side of life at 10:28:00 4 comments Links to this post


Who can resist a good brownie?? This brownie is made with cocoa powder instead of cooking chocolate, so if you are on a tight budget ( i am) , try this recipe! The clean up work from brownies are a tad easier than other bakes since 2 bowls and a whisk and you are good to go :D


This brownie is fudgey and not cake like. If you prefer cake- like brownies then i am sorry ! This is not the one for you. The cocoa powder really tuned down the level of sweetness with a slight bitterness to it. If you are making for little children, be sure to add more of those mini M&Ms! You can play around the recipe and add mini marshmallows- it'll make the brownies sweeter :D


Recipe that makes 8"x 8" square pan - 16 pieces
*Preheat oven at 160C

Ingredients

1/2 Cup Canola oil
1/4 Cup Cocoa Powder
1/2 Cup Sugar ( Originally 1 Cup)
2 Eggs
1 Tsp Vanilla
3/4 Plain flour
1/8 Tsp salt
1/3 Cup of Bittersweet couverteur chocolate
1/3 Cup Mini M&Ms

Method

Measure oil into smaller bowl, whisk in cocoa powder.

In another larger bowl, beat sugar and eggs together, stir in vanilla and cocoa mixture*

Sift in flour with salt and mix till JUST combine. (Over mixing will cause over development of gluten structure, making your brownies hard)

Fold in chocolate and M&Ms, reserving some as toppings

Top batter with toppings

Bake for about 30 minutes or till tooth pick inserted in comes out clean or with a LITTLE bit of crumbs is fine.

Cool completely before cutting


(By the way, sugar increases tenderness)

Monday, 22 March 2010

Baked Chicken Pasta

Posted by Sweeter side of life at 14:19:00 2 comments Links to this post



Today my brother was at home, so i decided to have a change from cooking chinese but have baked pasta instead. It was pretty easy and most ingredients are found in a can :D
The original recipe didn't have any greens in them, so i added a floret of broccoli into the whole thing- forcing my brother to eat some good old veggie ;)

My mother doesn't like chewy and elastic cheese (aka mozzerella), so i went really easy on the amount. This is better anyway since cheese are expensive and fattening. I was really lucky today as the cheese was on sale at the fairprice near my house, probably trying to clear its stock. It was usually 7.75 singapore dollars for a mere 250g but the offer was 9.95 for 2 packets of it! (say wow!) : D



Alright i spent about 45 minutes from scratch till the end product, but it'll be much faster if you didn't have that extra broccoli in there. You could just substitute with frozen vegetables if you like, just remember to blanch it in boiling water for 2 mins.

This recipe serves 6 but i only had 3 in the house, so i made the sauce according to the recipe and froze half a portion of it for use next round. The amount of minced chicken that i used is about 200g to 250g, i didn't check the weight since it was the last packet on the shelf. I just did the grab and go thing. This whole dish can be turned into a vegetarian dish by simply substituing and chicken with canned baked beans or chickpeas or what ever legumes you have. If you don't have chicken or beans, you could use canned tuna or simply scrambling 4 beaten eggs on the pan after you have brown the onions. Enough being said, now is your turn to try :)


A Ingredients

1 can of stewed tomatoes(about 14 ounce or 4oog)
1/2 can of 6 ounce/168g tomato paste
1/4 cup tomato juice( i used water)
1/2 Tsp Sugar
1/2 Tsp Dried oregano(i used mixed herbs)
1/4 Tsp ground pepper

B Ingredients

About 225g minced chicken
1 medium white onion, chopped
about 1/2 cup shredded mozzerella cheese
150g of dried pasta
A floret of broccoli, cut to small pieces and boiled

Method

Boil and cook pasta till al dente in water containing 1 tsp of salt

Puree all of ingredient A, freezing any extras

Add a little oil to non-stick frying pan
Add in onions when pan is hot and fry for 30 seconds
Add chicken in, breaking up and browning the meat with onions.
Preheat oven to 190C
Pour pureed sauce and cover, simmering for 10 mins
Add a bit of water from the boiled broccoli if the sauce seems to dry up.
Stir in cooked pasta with broccoli and bake in casserole dish for 5 minutes
Top with cheese and bake for another 10minutes till cheese is golden brown.

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Nutty and Chippy Cookie

Posted by Sweeter side of life at 23:19:00 2 comments Links to this post
!


After CNY, there seems to be an abundance of empty plastic containers(with red lids) yearning to be filled. To bring forth happiness to these lonely empty bottles, i decided to bake a batch of simple cookies :)



I wanted my cookies to have a nice crunch so i added walnuts, bakeable chocolate chips, corn flakes and some shredded coconut.
These recipe calls for half butter and half oil which is apretty interesting combination. However, worrying was redundant because the cookies came out so crispy!



Alright, this is so easy! If you are just a beginner starting to bake, try this 99.9% no fail recipe. You can hardly go wrong ;D

*Preheat at 180 degrees celcius

A Ingredients

30g Salted Butter, soften

30g vegetable oil(Canola oil/oil without strong flavours)

40g soft brown sugar(originally was 60g)

1/2 egg

115g Cake flour

1/2 Tsp Baking Soda

B Ingredients

50g Walnuts, chopped

30g Semi-Sweet chocolate chips

10g Shredded Dessicated Coconut

40g corn flakes, Slightly Crushed

Method

1) Beat butter till creamy and clings to bowl

2) Add in sugar, oil and egg. Stir to combine (May take a few good stirs)

3) Add in B ingredients

4) Add in sifted flour and Baking soda, stir till combined

5) Bake on pan lined with baking paper*

6) Roll dough into small balls, and place them about 1.5 cm apart since they don't really spread that much

7) Flatten and then bake! About 12-15 minutes depending on the size of your cookies :D

8) Eat and Enjoy!

Kaya Layer cake

Posted by Sweeter side of life at 16:59:00 2 comments Links to this post


I've been baking and eating furiously lately! Haha i can't get enough of it ;)
I have to go for regular jogs from now on. I have never tried making kueh lapis before and this is my first attempt. The first layer shrunk by more than i expected! Luckily it is masked by the subsequent layers. I have to give myself some applause for the first attempt which is pretty succesfully. I have to thank Wendy for the recipe she posted on her blog.

I did modify the recipe just slightly as i didn't like my cake too sweet



makes a 9 inch x 9 inch square cake

*Preheat oven at grill mode(only upper heating element) at 220 degrees celsius and put greased pan into it to preheat as well

Ingredients

450g salted butter, soften

200g brown sugar

10 eggs

330g Kaya(Originally was 400g)

4 Tbs Milk powder

240g Cake Flour

1/2 Tsp Pandan Paste (Originally was 1 Tsp)


Method

1) Cream butter and sugar till pale and fluffy

2) Add eggs one by one, only adding after egg has been absorbed into the batter( It will take a long long time to finish, just too many eggs)

3) Mix in kaya

4) Add in milk powder and sift in flour*

5) When fully incorporated, divide to 2 equal portion

6) Add the pandan paste to one of it

7) Take a ladle of green batter and spread evenly, tilting the pan

8) Repeat with priginal batter, lighlty pressing out any air pockets

9)Repeat till there are no more batter


In conclusion, this cake is a bit oily after baking. Next time when i bake, i may consider reducing the butter by 50g. Flavour wise; pretty good both my parents liked it. The crumb is very tender, probably due to the oil.

Friday, 19 March 2010

Saute mushroom and asparagas sandwich

Posted by Sweeter side of life at 14:42:00 0 comments Links to this post
Hello just another sandwich : D i had this before i worked so i wouldn't feel hungry while working. This is because i have no lunch break :( One less chance to eat. Oh well what can i do? So i decided that breakfast had to be nutritious, with fibre, protein and some good fats to increase satiety as well : D



Asparagas gives lots of soluble and insoluble fibre
Mushroom has lots of fibre, vitamins and minerals
Wholemeal bread for fibre and carbohydrates
Canned tuna for Protein
Processed cheese for protein, calcium ( and lots of sodium!)

All down with a glass of milk (not shown) and a fresh plum fruit :D

To tell you the truth, about 8 hours after i had this sandwich, i was SUPER HUNGRY. Thus i had an early dinner at 4pm :)

Apple banana muffin

Posted by Sweeter side of life at 14:07:00 0 comments Links to this post


I was craving for bananas but thought that eating plain banana was too boring so i made this apple banana muffin : D It is exciting to eat muffin especially when you got the little bits of walnuts that so crunchy and flavourful! In this recipe there is a touch of cinnamon and i thought it really made the muffin extra special : D

In addition, its pretty healthy! about 110 calories per muffin! That is about one cup of milk's calories. You can have 2 and it's still okay ;)

Try it out! makes 8 standard size muffins

Ingredients

Salted butter, softened 70g

Brown Sugar 50g

One Fuji Apple, grated

One banana, cut to chunks as toppings

Plain flour, sifted 110g

Wheat Bran 10g ( Added for increasing fibre, optional)

Baking Powder 1Tsp

Milk 2Tbs

Egg, beaten 1

Cinnamon Powder 1/4Tsp

Walnuts, chopped 40g


Method Oven preheat at 180 degrees celsius

1) In a bowl, cream butter and sugar then gradually add in egg

2) When emulsified(combined), add in milk( not cold!)

3) Add in grated apple and mix.

4) Add in flour mixture(flour+bran+Bp+Cinnamon) in batches and combine

5) Drop spoonful into muffin pan, about 3/4 full and top with bananas.

6) Bake for about 20 minutes, checking at after 15 minutes.

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Peanut Butter cookie covered in chocolate shell

Posted by Sweeter side of life at 21:04:00 0 comments Links to this post
I was itching to try out this cookie way back and of course i jumped right in to do it upon a chance : D



First i made a chocolate cookie dough, followed by the filling.
The filling was made from creamy peanut butter + cocoa powder instead of icing sugar which the recipe called for. I decided to make the switch because i didn't want it to be too sweet.
Once the dough has chilled in the fridge till firm enough to be manipulated, i used it to wrap the peanut filling.
Peanut butter goes well with chocolate, trust me ;)
The cookie has a nice chewy cake like texture, not the crispy sort. The smell of the peanut just occupies the whole of your nasal passage and exudes out into the atmosphere. As you open your mouth to take another bite of goodness, the fragrant peanut smell sneaks its way back into your mouth to meet its buddy- chocolate.
On the whole, although it takes a bit of effort to make this cookies, it was well worth it :D

Homemade bread

Posted by Sweeter side of life at 20:36:00 0 comments Links to this post
Finally had the time to try my hands at some bread making sessions.
The feeling of the soft bread dough under my fingers is just so therapeutic :)


Watching it rise in the oven is so thrilling!!

Although the crumb texture is still not satisfying, i am still very happy that it rose pretty well!
There are still more to learn and we all know practice makes perfect!


Sunday, 7 March 2010

Pandan Chiffon Cake

Posted by Sweeter side of life at 21:37:00 0 comments Links to this post


Fluffy Fluffy cakes are my favourite : ) I was being lazy so i made them with store bought pandan paste, thus explaining the out of ordinary green. Still they tasted really nice : D
Here's the recipe!!

Requires an 8 inch chiffon pan

Ingredients

4 Large Egg yolks
30g Sugar( i used 15g)
1 Tbs Honey
Pinch of Salt

50g Vegetable Oil( i used canola)
100ml Coconut milk
1/4 Tsp Pandan Paste

100g Cake Flour, Sift
1/2 Tsp Baking Powder ( I didn't use it, I forgot! Haha)

4 Egg Whites
1/2 Tsp Cream of Tar Tar( it's okay to omit if you don't have*)
30g Sugar(i used 20g)

Methods

1) Beat yolk with sugar, honey and salt

2) Add in oil, coconut milk and pandan paste. Set aside

3) Make a well in flour, Mix in mixture from Step 2 using whisk

4) In another bowl, Sift in cream of tar tar and Whisk egg whites on high speed till frothy

5) Gradually adding sugar in two batches and continue whipping till stiff peak

6) Take a 1/3 of egg white and mix into pandan mixture to lighten the batter

7) Pour mixture into whipped egg whites and fold to mix using a spatula

8) Pour into mould and bake at 175 degrees celsius in a preheated oven for 35-45 minutes ( I baked for 35 minutes)

9) Remove and cool cake upside down, ONLY REMOVE from mould when thoroughly cooled!

* It is added due to its acidity which increases stability of whipped egg whites. It should be added before whipping.

My new baby :D

Posted by Sweeter side of life at 17:27:00 0 comments Links to this post
I just bought a Kitchenaid mixer!!! Check her out :D
She is apple green!! She whips such beautiful egg white foams!!
 

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