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Saturday, April 27, 2013

My Very Own "Mango-filled Cupcake with Mango Buttercream"

This time no Anna Olson, no William Sonoma, no Nigella, no Jamie, no Good Housekeeping, no cookbook.. nuh-uh. This is my 'all mine recipe'.

Have always wanted to make my own cake or cupcake from scratch but afraid to try as I did not go to any culinary school or baking classes and have no idea on the ratio of dry and wet ingredients.  Then finally, due to desperation in looking for a 'retirement' plan, I decided to don the apron and challenge myself to come up with a signature recipe where I can start my own cupcake or baking business.  Although retirement is not happening anytime soon, there's no harm in planning.  I can however turn to floristry or teach the art of floral arrangement as I'm a qualified florist.  Actually have been doing part-time florist for the past 10 years and it's a lucrative one if you have a steady demand. But due to delivery challenges, decided to put it in the back seat for a while.  Not to mention, baking has always been my passion and to venture that into business has always been creeping at the back of my mind.

So, last night took out the pen and notebook and start writing down the recipe and the ingredients and flavors that I think will make a perfect match.  I also wanted to use local fruits which I can easily get all year round (if I have demand for my bake, that is..akkakkkkaa) and I love my cupcakes to be different from the ones you can get from the bakery or cafes.  I like mine to have a little treasure in it and a unique taste to it.  Here, I used all fresh ingredients, no food coloring what so ever!

However, sorry guys, not sharing the recipe as yet, as I want to make this really special and only me can bake this... selfish, huh..muahahhahaha....If you are thinking of what you gonna do after retirement then you will not blame me for being selfish right?  Anyway, if you really want to taste this, you know what to do..wink! wink!.

This, is a success recipe!  That I can share with you!  Well, at least, my family say so..hehehe.. am waiting for my bro-in-law to taste it and to get his feedback though.  Take a peek at my creation. 
I'm glad I took the courage to try. Even if I failed, I think will try and try until I get it right.  Looks like I'm now thinking of the next flavor..hmm mmm..

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Homemade Chicken Pie

One of the long lists of things to make, is the homemade chicken pie.  Mmm..mmm.. so yummey!

But I have to admit that I cheated.  Cheated on the pastry. Hah! One thing that I am lazy with is making pastries and breads.  If you ever find me making those, then I'm in one of those rare moods to want to make  it.  So as I'm very lazy as usual, I used the frozen pastry puffs.  It worked, didn't it?  And most importantly, it tasted good and my family enjoyed it.

The filling is my own recipe.  You can have it a bit spicy if you like by adding curry powder or if you like it creamy, use cream and milk etc.  I like mine to be neither.  More like stew type.

 For the filling, you will need:
2 pieces of chicken breasts
1 big onion, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
1 can button mushrooms, sliced
1 small floret cauliflower, cut into small chunks
1 small can of green peas, drained
2 tbsp butter
dash of olive oil
1/4 cup water
salt and pepper
worchestershire sauce
white wine vinegar
dash of sugar

Store bought frozen pastry puff, thawed at room temperature
1 egg wash for pastry

Pre heat oven to 180dC.
1. Heat a saucepan with some olive oil and butter.  Add onion and fry till soft.  Add chicken and fry till chicken to half cooked.
2. Add in cauliflower and celery, add water and cover for 1 min.  Add in mushroom and green pea.
3. Add in salt, pepper, worchestershire sauce and white wine vinegar.  Cover and simmer for 2 mins.  Add in sugar to taste.
4. Once chicken is cooked and vegetables are soft, take off heat and let cool.
5. Line disposable pie foil with puff pastry if you like.  (You can omit this and just place the pastry on top to cover.)
6. Add in the filling and cover with puff pastry.  Brush with egg wash and place on baking tray and bake till pastry is puffed and golden.

Serve immediately.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Rendang Tok

My dear blogger friends, I have to apologize for not visiting you as often as I would have liked.  I've been so busy lately and didn't have time to even update my post as often as I like.

What choice do I have?  I have to earn a living and 3 mouths to feed etc etc etc.  Anyway, here's my mutton rendang which I cooked more than a month ago and now, would like to share the recipe with you.
I modified the recipe as I find that at times you can't follow it word for word.  You have to use your gut feel if that's the right way to cook it or not.  The original recipe boils everything together.  The meat, the ingredients and everything.  Well, I did that but I also add extra step by frying it at the end to get the 'dry' texture.  And I'm glad I did that.

This dish actually is more suited to use beef but since I don't eat beef, I used mutton instead and the result is just as good.

What you will need:
500g beef or mutton
300 ml coconut milk
50g curry powder
20g jintan manis powder (aniseed)
2 cinnamon sticks
50g big onion   }
50g garlic         } blended together
50g ginger        }
50g galangal     }
30g dried chili  }
50g kerisik (grated coconut, fry without oil until golden and crispy)
20g grated coconut
Salt to taste
Cooking oil to fry

1. Mix coconut milk and the blended ingredients in a wok and let boil over medium heat.
2. Add in the aniseed powder, curry powder and cinnamon sticks and mix well.
3. Put in the meat and the grated coconut and constantly stir until it's almost dry and meat is tender, add salt.
4. Lastly, add the kerisik and mix well.
5. Add in enough cooking oil (vegetable oil) and fry the rendang until it's dry.  Serve with hot fluffy rice or nasi himpit (rice cakes) or bread.

Kept well frozen up to several months.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

White Chocolate Raspberry Lime Cheesecake

Who don't love cheesecake?  Most people do but a handful don't. Those who have dairy intolerance will not stand for it. To them it's disgusting. I know that some are affected by 'all-in-your-mind' syndrome when it comes to cheese.  I mean, if you make it into chocolate cheese or any other stronger flavor that covers the cheesy taste, it's alright for them.  They practically enjoy eating them but when it comes to plain cheesecake, they will go 'urgh! how disgusting'.. yeah yeah yeah.. so it's all-in-your-mind kind of thing, doesn't it?  Amazing at how the mind can play with your emotions and actions.

Anyway, I'll be happier if more people don't like cheesecake because I will get a bigger share in it..heehhehee.

This particular recipe is from my newly acquired Anna Olson's Back To Baking cookbook.  I love all her recipes and enjoyed watching her show in AFC.  The only thing that I change from this recipe is, substituting raspberries with blueberries since I have blueberries in my freezer and I used lemon instead of lime.  For the crust, I used my almost expired Famous Amos cookie biscuits which my neighbor gave us a couple of weeks ago.

This is very creamy, melt-in-the-mouth cheesecake.  If you love cheesecake the way I do, I highly encourage you to try this recipe.

THE recipe!

2 1/2 cups cookie crumbs from other buttery sugar cookies (I used Famous Amos biscuit cookies)
1/4 cup (60ml) unsalted butter, melted

2 pkg (250g each) cream cheese at room temperature
2 tbsp all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
3 tbsp lime juice (I used lemon juice)
2 tsp finely grated lime zest (I used lemon zest)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs at room temperature
1 egg yolk
125g white chocolate, chopped
1 cup fresh raspberries (I used blueberries)

1. Pre-heat oven to175dC and great a 9 in springform pan.
2. Stir in the cookie crumbs with melted butter and press them into the bottom of the prepared pan.  Bake for 10mins and cool while preparing the filling.
3. Reduce the oven temp to 150dC. Beat the cream cheese and flour until light and fully. Slowly pour in the sugar while beating.  Beat in the sour cream, lime (lemon) juice, zest, vanilla until blended.  One at a time, add in the eggs and yolk, beating well. By hand, fold in the white chocolate and raspberries (blueberries).
Pour on to the crust.
4. Place the pan on a baking tray and bake for about 40 mins (I baked for 50 - 60 mins) until the outside edges of the cake are set but centre still a little jiggly.  Cool cheesecake at room temperature and then chillin the fridge.